7 Stunning Types of Lantana Flowers (Pictures Included)

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by Max - last update on April 2, 2020, 2:02 am
Types of Lantana Flowers

Lantana flowers belong to the verbena family, Verbenaceae. The two types of flowers look so similar that it can be a struggle to tell a lantana plant from a verbena plant, but they have different care requirements and hardiness levels, so it’s important that you distinguish your lantanas from your verbenas before planting them.

There are over 150 species of lantana plants, which is a result of heavy hybridization between the different types. Lantana flowers are popular due to their ability to bloom with showy flowers all year round in hot climates. The flowers appear in pretty clusters, and are attractive to a range of wildlife, bringing bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds into the garden.

They are low-maintenance thanks to their reliance on dry conditions and tolerance of poor soils. If you live in a climate which experiences frost, then you will need to treat these plants as annuals or grow them in a container that can be brought inside during colder months. These plants are very versatile, and depending on the type, can be used for hedging, hanging baskets, ground cover, and ornamentals.

7 Types of Lantana Flowers

1. Common Lantana

Common Lantana

Scientific Name: Lantana camara

Mature Size: Up to 4 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-12

Light: Full sun

Water: Low water needs

Soil: Well-draining, average

Flower Color: Yellow, red, orange

Special Features: Long blooming period

Varieties: Lantana Little Lucky Peach Glow, Lantana Camara Landmark Citrus, Lantana Camara Landmark Peach Sunrise, Lantana Little Lucky Red, Lantana Lucky Lavender, Lantana Lucky White, Lantana Athens Rose, Lantana Silver Mound, Lantana Texas Flame, Lantana Bandana Red, Lantana Radiation

The common lantana is the most widely cultivated of all the lantana plants, though it has become so highly hybridized that it is rare to find true common lantana plants for sale in nurseries. It is a tender perennial shrub, with a small upright habit.

These plants like hot, dry climates, where they will act like perennials, though in cooler climates, they can be kept as annual plants. The plants themselves are hardy through USDA hardiness zones 9 to 10, while the root system is hardy down to zone 8. In temperatures lower than 28º F the plant will die back to the ground, but as long as the roots are warm enough to survive, then the plant will re-emerge the following spring (Floridata).

Lantanas are cultivated predominantly for their lively flowers, which bloom all season long, providing the home garden with an abundance of cheerful color. The common lantana features yellow, red, and orange flowers, which bloom in neat clusters on the end of stems, which rise out from the plant's medium green foliage. Numerous other colors are available which arise from the creation of hybrid lantana species.

These plants thrive in hot weather, and though you can plant them in your garden any time after the last frost, they rarely start to grow with any enthusiasm until the weather really warms up. Once summer arrives, you should see some rapid growth from your common lantana. After planting, water these plants generously, but once established, they prefer dry soil and are drought-tolerant. Too much water or too much fertilizer will inhibit the plant's ability to flower.

Take care when growing these plants in hot and humid conditions as they can easily naturalize and become problematic. In fact, this plant is considered an invasive species in eastern Australia, as well as the US states of Texas, Florida, and Hawaii. Pruning back the plant regularly will help to prevent the situation from getting out of control. Pruning is best achieved in early spring, though you can prune in late winter if necessary. The common lantana can be cut back to around six inches from the ground, and it will respond well. Or if you’d prefer to keep some height, remove around a third of the plant's overall size. Deadheading the plant once the blooms have faded will also contribute to the prevention of invasion.


2. Wild Lantana

Wild Lantana

Scientific Name: Lantana horrida

Mature Size: Up to 6 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-11

Light: Full sun

Water: Average water needs

Soil: Well-draining

Flower Color: Pink, orange, yellow, red

Special Features: Scented foliage

This species of lantana is found growing natively throughout Mexico and South America, in a wide variety of habitats, including grasslands, mountainsides, forests, and shrublands. It is a medium-sized shrub that thrives in hot climates, where it will grow as a perennial and offer flowers all year round. Cooler climates will see this plant decline over the winter, where it should be treated as an annual.

One of the interesting features of this type of lantana is that it has intensely scented foliage. Crushing or bruising the leaves will release the fragrance. The flowers of this plant bloom in pretty clusters, which can feature several colors all on one plant. The flowers are very attractive to bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. If pollinated, the flowers will give way to juicy plump berries, which are a popular source of food for birds.


3. Popcorn Lantana

Popcorn Lantana

Scientific Name: Lantana trifolia

Mature Size: Up to 5 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 10-11

Light: Full sun

Water: Low to medium water needs

Soil: Well-draining, average

Flower Color: Purple, pink

Special Features: Showy fruits

Varieties: Fruity Pebbles, Lavender Popcorn

Unlike other lantana plants, popcorn lantana is appreciated for its colorful and quirky fruits more so than their flowers. Flowers, produced in clusters on the end of stems, give way to brightly colored plump berries, which are tightly packed together.

There are two main types of popcorn lantana, and these are ‘Lavender Popcorn’ and ‘Fruity Pebbles.’ The fruity pebbles lantana have small, vibrant pink juicy berries, clustered together in the style of a dangling grape cluster. Lavender popcorn lantana has lavender flowers; when they fade, the stalks grow longer and become adorned with dark purple berries, which have an elongated shape. The fruit clusters look like clumps of popcorn, giving this plant its common name.

These plants are perennial shrubs with an upright habit, growing up to five feet tall and three feet wide. They thrive in warm climates where they can flower all year round, or in cooler climates, they can be grown as annual bedding plants, or grown in containers which can be moved indoors for winter before the first frost.

They are tolerant of a range of soils, including poor quality soil, but they prefer average, well-draining soil. Popcorn lantana will also tolerate drought, though it prefers medium moisture.

The foliage of the popcorn lantana grows in groups of three, which has given rise to the other common name for this plant of ‘three-leaved lantana.’ In fact, the plant's specific epithet ‘trifolia’ translates from Latin to ‘three-leaved.’ The foliage is lance-shaped, dark green, with a rough surface (Missouri Botanical Garden).


4. Trailing Lantana

Trailing Lantana

Scientific Name: Lantana Montevidensis

Mature Size: Up to 10 feet long

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-12

Light: Full sun to partial shade

Water: Low water needs

Soil: Well-draining

Flower Color: Yellow, purple, white

Special Features: Trailing habit

Varieties: Weeping Lavender, Trailing Yellow, Lavender Swirl, Alba, New Gold, White Lightning

This resilient trailing plant is native to South America. It is ideal for use as ground cover, trailing over a wall, or in hanging baskets. It can also be grown with support and trained to climb up walls and fences. It has a long blooming period, from April through to October in cool climates, or all year round in warmer regions, producing rounded clusters of small neat flowers.

 Flowers are predominantly lilac in color, with deep yellow or white centers, unlike other types of lantana, which come in several color variations. If you spot a trailing lantana with yellow flowers or flowers in other colors, then it will be the result of a trailing lantana hybrid, which has typically been crossed with a common lantana. Flowers appear at the end of stems throughout the plant.

The foliage of the trailing lantana is aromatic, and dark green in color. Leaves are coarsely-toothed and have fine hairs all over them. This plant is especially popular in coastal regions as it is tolerant of salt in the soil. It is also drought-tolerant and heat tolerant, and in fact, will thrive in extreme heat with very little moisture. It can adapt to a position of partial shade but will produce more flowers if grown in full sun.


5. Texas Lantana

Texas Lantana

Scientific Name: Lantana urticoides

Mature Size: Up to 6 feet tall

USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-10

Light: Full sun

Water: Low water needs

Soil: Well-draining

Flower Color: Yellow, orange, red

Special Features: Long blooming season

Also known as ‘Calico Bush,’ this lantana is commonly confused with the wild lantana. While both types of lantana have much in common, the wild lantana (Lantana horrida) has not been found growing natively north of Mexico. The Texas lantana, however, as you may gather from its common name, is native to Texas, as well as Mississippi, Arizona, Louisiana, and New Mexico.

It can typically be found in woodlands. It is a perennial densely branched shrub, with an upright habit. Older stems tend to have thorns or spikes, so extra care should be taken when pruning. This plant also has scented leaves, but take care when handling them as contact with the skin can cause dermatitis.

The foliage of the plant has a rough surface and coarsely toothed margins on leaves around two and a half inches long. They are ovate in shape, with a flat base where it joins the stem and a point at the tip.

Flowers of the Texas lantana bloom from April through to the last frost. They appear at the end of stems in rounded flower clusters. Each bloom has a flared tubular shape, with four lobes. The flowers give way to blue-black berries, which are poisonous and should not be ingested.

These plants can grow to be quite large, with a height of up to six feet, and a similar-sized spread. Large bushes can be pruned each year to control the size, and they can also be divided to create several smaller shrubs. They should be kept in hot, sunny, dry conditions, and will not tolerate overwatering. The hotter and drier the conditions for this plant, the more prolifically it will bloom.


6. Buttonsage

Buttonsage

Scientific Name: Lantana Involucrata

Mature Size: Up to 3 feet

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9-11

Light: Full sun

Water: Low moisture needs

Soil: Well-draining

Flower Color: White

Special Features: Fragrant flowers

This lantana is native to Florida and South America, where it commonly grows in coastal areas. It grows perennially in warm climates, where it is able to bloom all year round. The flowers are heavily fragranced, formed in small clusters of pure white blooms with golden centers. Its foliage is also scented similarly to sage, with a fragrance that is released when the leaves are crushed; this has given rise to the plant also being commonly known as ‘wild-sage.’

As a heavily branched shrub, this lantana works well as hedging, or as an ornamental plant. It typically grows to no taller than three feet in height, though there have been instances where it has been known to grow in excess of six feet. It thrives in dry soil, in a position of full sun. It is tolerant of extreme heat, and like most lantanas, actually performs best in these conditions.

It will need to be pruned occasionally to prevent the shrub from getting too leggy; annual pruning will encourage more dense and bushy growth. Pruning is best completed in early spring before the plant enters its period of growth. This plant can be propagated from seed or from softwood stem cuttings.


7. Lantana Pastazensis

Scientific Name: Lantana Pastazensis

This plant is endemic to Ecuador, where it is considered an endangered species, with vulnerable conservation status. It is found in the tropical Ecuadorian forests where it thrives in the high humidity. Very little is known about this plant due to its rare status.


7 Stunning Types of Lantana Flowers (Pictures Included)

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