10 Major Types of Lantana & Their Hybrids – Identification Guide

The Lantana plant belongs to the genus Lantana and the family Verbenaceae. Native to tropical regions of the Americas and Africa, Lantana has become naturalized in parts of the American Southeast. With over 150 species, these flowering plants bloom nonstop from late spring all the way through frost. In warmer climates, they’ll even keep flowering nearly year-round!

Lantana can be grown as an annual in cooler regions, while it’s perennial in USDA zones 9 to 11. Its growth habit varies from low-growing ground covers to mounding shrubs that can reach up to 6 feet tall in tropical climates. Lantana thrives in full sun and well-draining soil, with a preference for slightly acidic to neutral pH levels (6.0-8.0). It is drought-tolerant and can withstand temperatures as low as 28 degrees Fahrenheit, though a light frost may not kill it.

Lantana’s multicolored flowers can be in shades of orange, pink, purple, red, white, and yellow, and they can change color as they age. Lantana can be toxic to pets and people, so it’s best to plant it in areas where small children and curious animals won’t be tempted to bother it.

Major Species

  • Common lantana (Lantana camara)
  • Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis)
  • Popcorn Lantana (Lantana trifolia)
  • Weeping Lantana (Lantana depressa)
  • Buttonsage (Lantana involucrata)
  • Texas lantana (Lantana urticoides)
  • Desert lantana (Lantana achyranthifolia)
  • Creeping lantana (Lantana amoena)
  • Brushland shrubverbena (Lantana achyranthifolia)

Common lantana (Lantana camara)

Lantana Camara has a sprawling habit, and it can be either an annual or a perennial, small, broadleaf evergreen shrub. It produces small and tubular flowers in clusters at the ends of the stems. It is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11, where it can be grown as a perennial garden plant.

Lantana camara is considered invasive in many parts of the world. It was brought to Europe by Dutch explorers and has since spread to Asia and Oceania where it has established itself as a notorious weed.

There are many cultivars of Lantana camara and produce flowers in colors of yellow, orange, pink, purple and white – often with single blooms changing color as they mature.

Cultivars of Lantana camara

  • Gold Mound Lantana (Lantana camara ‘Gold Mound’)
  • Miss Huff Lantana (Lantana camara ‘Miss Huff’)
  • Confetti Lantana (Lantana camara ‘Confetti’)
  • Dallas Red Lantana (Lantana camara ‘Dallas Red’)
  • Bandana Cherry Pie Lantana (Lantana camara ‘Bandana Cherry Pie’)
  • Patriot Dwarf Lantana (Lantana camara ‘Patriot Dwarf’)
  • Habana Sunset Lantana (Lantana camara ‘Habana Sunset’)
  • Lemon Drop Lantana (Lantana camara ‘Lemon Drop’)

Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis)

Trailing lantana, also known as weeping lantana, creeping lantana, or simply Lantana montevidensis has a long season of reliable blooms. These blooms are usually in shades of rosy lilac, lavender, or even purple, often with a contrasting yellow throat.

Trailing lantana has a sprawling, low-growing form, reaching a mature height of only 12-18 inches. However, its true magic lies in its ability to spread outwards, forming a dense and visually appealing mat of foliage that can reach up to 5 feet wide. It is usually grown in California to protect against soil erosion on dry hillsides.

Cultivars of Trailing Lantana

  • Pink Trailing Lantana (Lantana montevidensis ‘Rose’)
  • Lavender Swirl Lantana (Lantana montevidensis ‘Lavender’)
  • New Gold Lantana (Lantana montevidensis ‘New Gold ‘
  • Clear White Lantana (Lantana montevidensis ‘Clear White’)
  • Alba Lantana (Lantana montevidensis ‘Alba’)

Popcorn Lantana (Lantana trifolia)

The Popcorn Lantana (Lantana trifolia), also known as Threeleaf Lantana, Shrub Verbena, or Lavender Popcorn is a frost-tender scrambling lantana variety that can grow up to 3 meters (10 feet) tall. It has a bushy, spreading growth habit and can be grown as a rounded shrub or trained to climb.

The leaves grow in whorls of three, hence the name “trifolia.” They are dark green, elliptic to ovate in shape.

The flowers are small, lavender-colored, and borne in clusters. They bloom throughout the growing season, attracting butterflies and other pollinators.

After the flowers fade, the clusters elongate and develop into clusters of small, dark purple fruits. These fruits are tightly packed together, resembling a cob of popcorn, hence the name “popcorn lantana.”

Cultivars of Popcorn Lantana (Lantana trifolia)

  • Fruity Pebbles:This cultivar has lavender flowers that fade to a colorful mix of purple, pink, and orange fruit.

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