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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.

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

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Monday - March 09, 2015

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives
Title: Plant native Lantana urticoides and not non-native
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

San Antonio Water System does not want to assist invasive plants but we want to encourage Lantana sp but we need to know what Lantana camara hybrids are sterile

ANSWER:

Although the Florida Invasives Organization has published this list of "sterile" Lantana camara species, we are wondering why you don't avoid the non-native Lantana spp. and use the species that is native to Texas. 

A paper from 1987 [Sterile Lantana camara: Fact or Theory by J. J. Spies and Henriette de Plessis.  South African Journal of Plant Soil 1987, 4 (4)] questions the sterility of the "sterile'  form of Lantana camara and there is still controversy about the effectiveness of the sterile cultures as seen in Ploidy Levels and Pollen Stainability of Lantana camara Cultivars and Breeding Lines by David M. Czarnecki II et al.  HortScience October 2014, 49:1271-1276.

Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana) is native to Bexar County as can be seen in this distribution map on the USDA Plants Database webpage.  Why not use it instead of the non-native, invasive Lantana camara?  If you use the native species, you do not need to worry about whether or not the plant you are using is sterile.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

Texas lantana
Lantana urticoides

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