Lantana camara - Lantana
Scientific Name: Lantana camara
Common Name: Lantana
Description: Tender, subtropical shrub grown as houseplant; flower clusters display yellow at center with pink or orange near the outside; borne freely from summer through frost
Size: Can grow 3 to 6 feet high, but usually pruned into a low mound or trained as a standard
Cultural Information: Prefers full sun and moist but well-drained soil; fertilize regularly during growing season
USDA Zones: 9 through 10
Historical Notes: The multi-colored flowers of lantana have endeared it to American gardeners since at least the beginning of the 19th century. Late 18th-century Virginia gardener Jean Skipwith included in her list of plants the "Prickly Lantana (house plant) very brilliant, seldom without flowers."1 Nurseryman Bernard McMahon in The American Gardener's Calendar suggested lantana as a greenhouse plant, to be moved outdoors in summer.2 Robert Buist, influential garden writer of the early 19th century, wrote of lantana: "These are very handsome growing plants, and will even keep in a good green-house; but in such case will only bloom in summer."3
- 1. Skipwith Family Papers, 1769-1977, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary; Ann Leighton, American Gardens in the Eighteenth Century (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1986), 442.
- 2. Bernard McMahon, The American Gardener's Calendar: 1806 (Charlottesville: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1997), 449.
- 3. Robert Buist, The American Flower Garden Directory (Philadelphia: Carey and Hart, 1841), 185. See also "Robert Buist (1805-1880)," Smithsonian Libraries.