Gardening
in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Lantana camara: Lantana

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Description
Form: Shrub.
Leaf retention: Evergreen but frost-deciduous.
Growth rate: Rapid.
Mature Size: Normally 2-4' high and wide. Can grow to 6' high.
Flowers: Small tubular flowers clustered into hemispheres of various colors. After pollination, the color of each individual flower fades, often from red to orange, then yellow. This helps pollinators locate the flowers that still have nectar and need pollination. Pastel colored and solid gold hybrids are common.
Bloom: Mid-winter to fall, or summer to fall, depending on local climate.
Fruit: Small black or blue-black, berries. Most hybrids are sterile and do not produce berries.
Leaves: Rough textured, green, serrate margins, to 3" long, strong odor if crushed.
Stems: Tiny thorns on some cultivars.
Wildlife: Some cultivars are very attractive to butterflies, other cultivars do not interest them. Young hummingbirds occasionally investigate. Attracts birds if berries are produced. Avoided by mammals.
Toxic / Danger: All parts, including unripe berries, are toxic. Ripe berries may be edible, but use caution, as this may vary by cultivar. Small thorns on stems.
Origin: Tropical America.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9-11. Root hardy to 20°F. In regions with freezes, grows back from roots after start of spring if properly mulched.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun for best blooms.
Water once established: Monthly.
Soil: Well drained, pH 6.1-7.8 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline), adaptable otherwise.
Mulch: Cover roots well before first predicted freeze.
First Year Care: Water thoroughly every day to establish extensive root system.
Prune: Remove dead parts in late winter.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed or cuttings.
Uses: Ornamental.

Comments
Many varieties sold in nurseries are hybrids with varying degrees of cold hardiness. Cultivar 'Del Rio' repels butterflies. Other cultivars may attract them. The butterfly in the picture is a Sleepy Orange.



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Lantana camara - red flowers and sleepy orange butterfly

Lantana camara - red flowers and hummingbird

Lantana camara: Lantana - berries

Lantana camara - gold flowers