En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - July 19, 2009

From: Wilmington, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Different kinds of lantana in Wilmington, NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Wilmington, NC. I spent a small fortune on three varieties of lantana--Cherry Sunrise, Ham & Eggs and Bandana Red. I live on a salt water tidal creek and most are in full sun. Some are in partial sun, but only afternoon shade--well drained locations, moisture control soil and plenty of love!! I purchased them all from the same nursery and I planted them in the ground all at the same time--mid-May. They bloomed until July 22nd, and then the blooms stopped and berries were produced. I did research on the internet and everywhere I went suggested to cut off the berries, I did this and only a few plants have rebloomed for me. Frustration set in b/c of the time spent doing this! They have not gotten much bigger than they originally were. Now, we do have one exception!! I potted one Ham $ Eggs in a terra cotta pot on my deck--watered it ridiculously b/c I could not break the pot away from my other containers, and it has Tripled in size and continues to bloom out of control!! Can you please direct me as to what I am doing wrong or am I just out of luck?

ANSWER:

Whoa! Way too much information. Let us first explain that the names you have are trade names of either cultivars or hybrids of lantana. Many of the components of these plants are likely non-native. The Lady Bird Johnson Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. One of the advantages of native plants is that you know how they are expected to behave under certain conditions, because they have been doing that for eons, adapted to soil, climate and rainfall. When humans intervene, cross-breeding plants for different colors or bringing in non-natives that look exotic, you don't know what to expect from that plant. The nursery companies will extol their virtues, their color, their blooming time, but they also don't know exactly what to expect. 

We found four species of Lantana native to North America: Lantana involucrata (buttonsage), native only to Florida, Lantana achyranthifolia (brushland shrubverbena), native to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, Lantana canescens (hammock shrubverbena), native only to Florida and Texas, and Lantana velutina (velvet shrubverbena), native to Texas, and Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena), native to several southern states, including North Carolina. This last plant blooms red, orange and yellow from April to October.

So, the named plants you have could be a selection or cultivar of the one native to your state, or they could be non-native tropical imports, or hybrids of either or both.  Probably the most-used species of Lantana is Lantana camara (Floridata website), native to Mexico and South America. It has become naturalized and invasive in Florida, and is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 11. In the southern tip of North Carolina, New Hanover County appears to be in Zones 7b to 8a, which would mean the plant could probably survive winter there. However, being non-native, it is out of our range of expertise; but we are going to try to find some websites on the specific named plants you have purchased and see if you can get some help from that. Remember, these will probably be nursery retail sites, and they are likely only going to tell you the good stuff, but at least it's a start.

'Cherry Sunrise' from the Care Free Gardener

'Ham and Eggs' (Wikipedia) Apparently, this is an old common name for Lantana Camara, because of the juxtaposition of the pink and yellow.

'Bandana Red' from GardenHarvestSupply.com

 

From the Image Gallery




Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

Velvet shrubverbena
Lantana velutina

Hammock shrubverbena
Lantana canescens

More Non-Natives Questions

Thoughts on non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
January 01, 2014 - I would like to know your thoughts on growing Italian Cypress trees in Austin Texas? We are looking to create a privacy screen(and prepared to pay more for mature trees to cut down the wait to grow...
view the full question and answer

Browning of non-native Plectranthus in Dallas
November 28, 2010 - I live in Dallas and planted 'Mona Lavender' which is now brown and limp after overnight temps in the low 30's. Is it dead or will it come back? Do I need to cover these plants during the winter m...
view the full question and answer

Nativity of Myrospermum sousanum
June 13, 2007 - I bought a Myrospermum sousanum (Arroyo Sweetwood) at the Antique Rose Emporium in San Antonio. I see where it is listed as a Texas native on several web sites, but I could not find a reference on the...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
July 10, 2011 - I would appreciate your assistance with some native plant options to replace Italian Cypress trees in the Arboretum area of Austin, TX. I have 12 of the trees on the north side of the house to obstru...
view the full question and answer

Competition for sun between non-native loquat and Carolina laurel cherry in San Antonio
October 27, 2010 - I have planted 2 Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)along my north side fence. I just learned my neighbor has planted a Loquat tree on the other side of the north facing fence. He told me that...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center