Indigenous Lantana

I remember as a kid getting lectured at school about the evils of lantana – I think I even went on a school trip to clear it out of our neighbourhood. Back then it was the number one invader species in Durban and everyone was out to get it (see more about invader species and, in particular, the Syringa berry in an upcoming guest post by Grant).

Imagine my surprise when a few years back I saw lantana for sale at my local, indigenous nursery.  Well, it turns out there is an indigenous species of lantana, with exactly the same flower and leaf structure as the invader.  The main differences are that this one is low-growing ground-cover as opposed to a shrub and the flowers are yellow as opposed to purple.  Plus, it is a great plant to have in your garden.  It flowers throughout the summer and the butterflies really dig it.

Lantana in bloom.
Lantana in bloom.

6 thoughts on “Indigenous Lantana”

  1. Wow until we spoke the other day I didn’t know there was such a thing as non-evil lantana. Thanks for opening my eyes (now I can enjoy the flowers without feeling bad).

  2. i was not aware of that! i too have always ‘known’ that lantana was a baddie. glad to hear it’s not always so. the yellow is so vivid – beautiful! no surprise the nunu’s love it.

  3. I know I have already sent in a post about Lantana, but would like to re-iterate: the yellow lantana is a hybrid of the highly invasive Lantana camera and another South American lantana. It is absolutely NOT indigenous. The acid test is this: If your yellow lantana has seeds, get rid of it. The seeds revert to Lantana camera and are scattered by birds! The only exotic lantana that is legally allowed in South Africa is a hybrid that does not set seed at all.

    There are about 7 lantanas indigenous to Africa, all having tiny, mauve flowers in small headss. The one I grow in the Eastern Cape is Lantana rugosa, also known as Bird’s brandy, as they can’t seem to get enough of the fruits.

  4. What an incredibly irresponsible article. Not research. Not referenced. And the one reply showing how incorrect you are remains unacknowledged!

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