The lantana was and is my favorite plant. Last year, I planted lantana so that it would trail all my walls. Lantana are tropical plants but they can survive, going dormant in winter and revive as soon as the weather warms up.
The lantana makes a great trailing hedge which invites the butterflies and the bees. If you look carefully at the photo above, you can see it’s visited here by the hummingbird butterfly (or more accurately moth). Like other butterflies, they have the long proboscis that twirls and they hover, but bees have to sit on the flower to get to the nectar. And all sorts of other beautiful butterflies and insects throughout summer and autumn.
Above is another variety called the lantana camara which is less trailing and can be made into a standard tree. The red colour can change and pink and yellow mixed coloured flowerheads may also appear. Lantana are often treated as annuals used in hanging pots for the trailing effect. The berries are very attractive and are edible BUT ARE POISONOUS when eaten green.
We plant lantana of the purple kind, white kind, yellow as well as red variety in various locations in our garden. The lantana is invasive in tropical countries but not in temperate zones.
Origin: The plant belongs to a genus of about 150 species of flowering plants, native to tropical areas of Africa and the Americas.
However, the lantana’s roots may release certain chemicals that will inhibit a nearby plant from flowering properly.
According to Lantana: A Friendly Weed, projects are ongoing to help tribal peoples of the Indian subcontinent make a livelihood from weaving products out of lantana wood which is said to be as beautiful and durable as that of bamboo.