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Yes, that Lovely Lantana Was Once Invasive

For a long time I have treasured the annual Lantana. It is beautiful and looks great in a summer flower bed.

This plant comes from the tropics or more subtropic areas.

For us here in northeast US, it is an annual that does a fine job in providing color the whole summer.

I remember the yearly summer August trip up to New Hampshire to see the newest plants at Proven Winners trial garden and nursery called Pleasant View Gardens, located in Loudon.

Lantana was always part of the mix, like this beautiful Lantana called ‘Luscious Berry Blend’ [below]

Proven Winners’ Lantana ‘Luscious Berry Blend’

The Dark Side of Lantana

Kathy Willis and Carolyn Fry discuss many plants in their book Plants from Roots to Riches.

The Lantana is one of them.

The Lantana became a problem in the nineteenth century, during the period when plant hunters traveled the world in search of plants.

Willis and Fry write: “The plant invader Lantana camara is native to South America but was intrioduced first into Europe, then to Calcutta’s botanical garden (in 1807).

“It spread with such great vigor that 100 years later it was threatening teak plantations.

“Today 650 varieties are causing mayhem across 60 countries.”

Still a Summer Favorite

Yet here in the northeast the Lantana continues to be a summer favorite.

This container with yellow and red ‘Luscious Berry Blend’ Lantana looks fabulous. [below]

The beautiful Lavender plant with it is, I think, Supertunia Vista ‘Bubble Gum.’

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Lantana, ‘Luscious Berry Blend’ [Images Courtesy of Proven Winners]

Rochester, New York seed company owner James Vick (1818-1882) wrote in 1878:

“This is one of those plants that will remain in popularity for a long time, both on account of the beauty and abundance of its flowers at all seasons of the year.”

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