January 10, 2022
JAN 10, garden intruders: lantana
Lantana camara, native to a few regions in the tropical Americas and Africa, is tolerant of varied growing conditions other than harsh winters. After extensive blooming of multi-colored flowers (yellow, orangy-pink and purple), each plant produces hundreds of berries that are loved by and distributed by birds. Introduced commercially as an ornamental, it spread invasively in 50 other countries, and with foliage toxic to grazing mammals, became an agricultural detriment, particularly in Australia.
In the US, although hybridized with less-obtrusive species native to south Florida, Lantana spp. continues to be an environmental threat, but a favorite in plant nurseries.