Lantana is the best drought resistant, heat resistant, desert flowering perennial. Lets just say Lantana is perfect. With a genus of 150 species and numerous colors, this perennial flowering plant in the verbena family, Verbenaceae, will certainly help create a perfect Arizona, Texas, Georgia, California garden that will attract butterflies! Lantanta is one of the best choices for xeriscape yards.
This desert flowering perennial is native to tropical regions of Africa and here in the Americas. It comes in plants and shrubs commonly called Lantana and shrub verbenas. Some types of Lantana are considered invasive, the trailing plant spreads easily because the leaves are somewhat poisonous to most animals and critters leave Lantana alone.
This is precisely why Lantana is a large part of my Sonoran desert garden. Not only is Lantana resistant to the extreme hot temperatures in Phoenix, Tucson, and Southern Arizona, but also drought tolerant and the small animals leave this verbena shrub alone! Our dogs are not interested in the Lantana Plant, flowers or the Lantana poisonous leaves.
This photo above is a flowering Lantana ocean! Periodically I shop in this strip mall only to find an enormous Lantana, field of Red, Yellow, White, Trailing Purple, Texas New Gold, Confetti, Camara, Texas New Flame and more. Honestly I drive out of my way so I can enjoy this colorful display. This Lantana mound is truly a butterfly magnet.
Lantana Camara, in the verbena family, has sometimes been called red, yellow, or wild sage, even though it is in a completely different family than sage. Camara colonizes new areas when its seeds are transported by birds. Once it reaches an area, L. camara spreads quickly. Camara grows so well, that efforts to eradicate it have completely failed. Lantana Camara is fire resistant, and quickly grows in burnt areas.
Camara has become naturalized in tropical and warm regions worldwide. Livestock foraging on the plant has led to widespread losses in the United States, South Africa, India, Mexico, and Australia.
In the photo above is my lantana camara that I’ve grown in a large pot – container. The planter is a ceramic type which I do not recommend as it gets very hot in 100 – 110 degree weather. Most of my lantanas are growing in pots or containers.
The bright yellow Lantana pictured above is the Texas New Gold I have growing in a pot. The Lantana container sits nicely on the side of the pond and at night the solar lights give an amazing atmosphere! A separate article is coming with my personal verbena plants, shrubs.
TIDBITS: Lantana plants are a perennial flowering plant with hollow stems. Pruning tip for Lantana – careful NOT to over prune your Lantana because water can drip down into the hollow stems and rot the crown.