Scientific: Lantana (in the Phoenix area this is mostly either L. montevidensis or hybrid cultivars of L. montevidensis and L. camara)
Common: lantana, trailing lantana
Family: Verbenaceae
Origin: Tropical America, but able to naturalize in moist, warmer regions worldwide.

Pronounciation: Lan-TAN-na

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 8-10 and 12-13 (often cold damage), 14-24, all other zones as a summer annual
USDA 1-8 (as a summer annual), 9-11 (as a herbaceous to semi-woody perennial)

Landscape Use: Variable forms and a versatile and dependable color display makes for a variety of landscape uses such as a summer annual or perennial accent shrub, large scale landscape ground cover, informal hedge, raised planters, hanging baskets and containers. This is one of the quintessential 'oasis' landscape design shrubs for near year around color accent the Phoenix area.

Form & Character: Evergreen shrub of variable form depending on cultivated variety ranging from upright and rounded to flattened and spreading, free flowering, cheerful, bright, tropical.

Growth Habit: Mostly a herbaceous tender evergreen perennial sub-shrub, growth habit of hybrid cultivars depend on cultivar type rangings in habit from an upright shrub up to 6 feet tall to a prostrate and spreading ground cover shrub less that 18 inches tall.

Foliage/texture: Small, ovate scabrous (scratchy like sandpaper) leaves with serrate margins on generally wirey and brittle stem; medium texture.

Flowers & fruits: Lantana has terminal cluster of flowers, many colors from white, to orange to pink to red, multi-colored, followed by black berries. All prostrate lantanas with purple flowers are L. montevidensis.

Seasonal color: Lantana can produce flowers throughout the entire year.

Temperature: Heat loving, but cold sensitive. Most lantana will suffer frost and freeze injury during most Phoenix winters in exposed locations. Otherwise Lantana hybrids are sparsely foliated and dormant during winter. Lantana montevidensis is quite a bit the most cold tolerant, but will still suffer freeze damage.

Light: Full sun to partial shade, no full shade.

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: Lantana has limited drought tolerance in Phoenix. Regular applications of water especially during summer months is best.

Pruning: Prune lightly as needed, or head back hard to near ground level in early spring after the danger of frost has past. In Phoenix, if lantana is frost or freeze damaged during winter, then don't immediately remove the unsightly, dead shoots (wait until early spring) as these damaged shoots will protect underneath living shoots from further cold injury.

Propagation: Lantana is very easy to propagate by vegetative softwood cuttings. Seed propagation is reserved mostly for cross breeding of species.

Disease and pests: In the late summer and early fall there are white flies!!!! Oh yeah, can you say ice cream??

Additional comments: For ground covers most horticulturist and landscape designers will select L. montevidensis (mostly purple flowers, sometimes white, most of the year) because of its trailing, prostrate habit. Note however that there are now many new hybrid cultivars of the lantana hybrids with other flower colors such as red, yellow and orange that have prostrate trailing habits.

Some common lantana hybrids cultuvars include:

Lantana sap is poisonous and can irritate human skin. Green, unripe fruits can if ingested cause dizziness, weakness, vomiting, cardiac arrhythmia, and even death.

Invasive alert: Lantana camara has naturalized in moist, warm parts of the continential United States including the lower southeastern United States and Florida to south Texas, coastal southern California and Hawaii where it is often considered a noxious weed.