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Lantana camara L.


KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderLamialesAromatic herbs and shrubs, including lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, ash, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, mint, basil, and rosemary
FamilyVerbenaceaeVerbena (vervain) family, about 3,000 species
GenusLantanaLatin for “viburnum,” whose flowers look somewhat similar
SpeciescamaraA South American vernacular name for lantana

About plant names...

Lantana is native to Mexico, parts of the Caribbean, Central America, Venezuela, and Colombia. It has been introduced as an ornamental plant to many other tropical and subtropical areas of the world, where it has become naturalized and, often, invasive. There are many cultivars.

Identification: Plants are evergreen shrubs, 3-4' (91-121 cm) high (rarely up to 6' (1.8 m)) and 12-36" (30-91 cm) around, able to grow higher still by clambering over other plants. Leaves are opposite, 2-5" (5-12 cm) × 1-2" (2.5-5 cm), rough-surfaced, ovate, with crenate edges. Stems and leaves are hairy. When crushed, they emit an unpleasant odor, likened, among other undesirable odors, to cat urine. Flowers form hemispherical umbels 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) in size. Each umbel is composed of flowers that are ¼-⅜" (6.3-9.5 mm) around, 5-petaled, held in neat, crowded, undeniably beautiful arrays. Making them even more attractive is their spectrum of colors, ranging from whites to yellows to pinks to oranges to reds to purples, mixed within even single umbels and changing in color as they age. They bloom from July to first frost, nearly continuously in frost-free areas. Fruits are purple-black drupes (berries), ~³/₁₆" (5-6 mm) in size.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones Foliage is poisonous to people, as well as to grazing animals. It contains alkaloids, called pentacyclic triterpenoids, that cause liver damage and photosensitivity. Berries are edible when ripe; poisonous when unripe.

Online References:


The Missouri Botanical Garden

Florida Nature


Hawaiian Plants and Tropical Flowers


Lantana strigocamara R.W. Sanders

Lantana aculeata L.

Lantana camara L. var. aculeata (L.) Moldenke

Lantana camara L. var. flava (Medik.) Moldenke

Lantana camara L. var. hybrida (Neubert) Moldenke

Lantana camara L. var. mista (L.) L.H. Bailey

Lantana camara L. var. mutabilis (Hook.) L.H. Bailey

Lantana camara L. var. nivea (Vent.) L.H. Bailey

Lantana camara L. var. sanguinea (Medik.) L.H. Bailey

Lantana tiliifolia auct. non Cham.


Lantana camara description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Lantana camara (lantana)

4/10/2015 · Big Cypress National Preserve Visitor Center, Florida
≈ 8 × 6" (19 × 16 cm)

Lantana camara (lantana)

4/10/2015 · Big Cypress National Preserve Visitor Center, Florida
≈ 15 × 12" (38 × 31 cm)

Lantana camara (lantana)

4/10/2015 · Big Cypress National Preserve Visitor Center, Florida
≈ 11 × 7" (28 × 18 cm)

Range: Zones 10-11:

About this map...