Lantana, West Indian (Lantana camara) Chiang Mai Urban Farm

Chiang Mai Urgan Farm
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Lantana camara, commonly known as lantana or wild sage, is a species of flowering plant belonging to the Verbenaceae family. It is native to tropical regions of the Americas but has become widely cultivated and naturalized in various parts of the world due to its attractive flowers and hardy nature.

Small perennial shrub that grows in dense thickets, small flowers bloom in clusters with a dark blue fruit inedible to humans but loved by birds.
Flowers: Lantana produces clusters of small, tubular flowers that are typically multi-colored, with shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, and purple. These clusters are known for changing color as they mature, creating a vibrant and eye-catching display.
Leaves: The leaves of Lantana camara are opposite, rough to the touch, and emit a pungent aroma when crushed. The leaves can vary in shape and size, depending on the cultivar.
Growth Habit: Lantana is a shrub-like plant that can grow from 1 to 6 feet in height, depending on the variety and growing conditions.

Lantana camara is a species of flowering plant within the verbena family, native to the American tropics. Habitat: It thrives in warm, sunny locations and is commonly found in gardens, landscapes, and along roadsides. It is well-suited to a variety of soil types and can tolerate drought conditions once established.

It is a very adaptable species, which can inhabit a wide variety of ecosystems; once it has been introduced into a habitat it spreads rapidly; between 45ºN and 45ºS and more than 1,400 metres in altitude. “Writing blooms flowers for mind, which last forever.” ― Debasish Mridha Attractiveness to Pollinators: Lantana flowers are known to attract butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, making them a popular choice for gardeners interested in supporting pollinator populations.

Lantana makes a lovely ornamental plant, and that’s why it was brought from its Caribbean home to the Old World as early as the 17th Century. Invasiveness: While Lantana camara is valued for its ornamental qualities, it can also be invasive in some regions where it has been introduced. It can spread rapidly and outcompete native plants, potentially disrupting local ecosystems.

Humans and birds continued to spread this plant from European gardens to now over 60 tropical and subtropical countries.

In several areas, it has become a threatening invasive species that out-competes native plants, lessens biodiversity, and contributes to a lack of food plants for the local animals.

When planting any exotic species of plant in your garden, it is important to do your research and prevent seeds from invasive plants from spreading into urban and suburban wild areas.
“The job of the united nations is to grow more flowers and more smiles on the earth.”
― Amit Ray, Nuclear Weapons Free World - Peace on the Earth

It is a graceful eye-catcher inside as the houseplant can be an attractive decorative element. Its coarse, hairy, dark-green leaves are also characteristic of Lantana.

What is definitely special about West Indian Lantana is that its blossom colors change over the course of the blossoming period.

If they are initially white or yellow in spring they will get darker over time or completely change their color.

That way it is possible for different blossom colors to appear next to each other on a single shrub of the plant.
“Surely the flowers of a hundred spring are simply the souls of beautiful things!”
― L.M. Montgomery, The Watchman and Other Poems

West Indian Lantana is mostly cultivated as a shrub however, market gardens often offer these graceful plants as little standard trees.

The ideal site for Lantana Camara is particularly sunny, bright, protected, and warm.

Semi-shade may occur however, West Indian Lantana should not be exposed to cold wind or heavy rain.

Rain and wind may delay the growth and also if the plant is kept in a place that is too dark the variety of blossom may suffer.

If you, therefore, cultivate West Indian Lantana in a pot it can be moved to different sites according to the weather.
“By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity.” ― Vernon Howard

West Indian Lantana that is cultivated in a plot is called annual plants, as they won’t survive the winter at a side like this in our latitudes. Low degrees of frost already afflict the plant and cause it to die. Therefore, it is not sensible to cultivate the graceful plant in a plot. On warm days you may put your Lantana Camara out in your garden but keep it in its pot. However, on windy or rainy days it should be moved back under a protective roof on a balcony or patio. “Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.” ― Clare Ansberry, The Women of Troy Hill: The Back-Fence Virtues of Faith and Friendship Toxicity: Lantana camara is considered toxic to humans and animals if ingested, particularly the berries. It contains compounds that can cause gastrointestinal upset and other symptoms.