Plant of the week

August 11, 2007

Lantana

Lantana camera

Flower color of this butterfly and hummingbird magnet grows in a fascinating arrangement. Perched on tall stems, the round flower clusters have distinct circles of color - a kaleidoscope of yellow, orange, white, red and purple shades - mixed within the same cluster.

Not hardy in Maryland, the shrublike lantana performs well as an annual. Tiny purchased transplants quickly grow to 2-foot-tall specimens. Purple lantanas are more vinelike and are a good choice for hanging baskets. Though the flowers are not fragrant, the foliage has a pleasant, citrus smell. Salt- and drought-tolerant, lantanas grow best in full sun.

[SHELLEY MCNEAL, MARYLAND COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE]

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