60 Lantana montevidensisCommon Names: trailing lantana, weeping lantana Family: Verbenaceae (verbena or vervain Family)
Not as well know as its more popular (and more notorious) common lantana (L. camara), the weeping lantana is a low woody shrub growing to only 18-24 in (45-61 cm) high. Its vinelike stems can sprawl to 5 ft (1.5 m) or longer to form wide-ranging clumps. This tender tropical evergreen has dark green leaves with a rough hairy texture. They are about 1 in (2.5 cm) long and have an unpleasant odor when crushed. Weeping lantana is a continuous bloomer in frostfree areas producing quantities of small lilac flowers that are arranged in flowerhead clusters that are 1 in (2.5 cm) across.
Lantana montevidensis is native to tropical South America. It is becoming a popular groundcover and landscape item in frostfree area and as a warm season annual elsewhere.
CultureLight: Sun or shade, but more flowers when grown in bright sun. Moisture: Likes well drained light soils. Hardiness: USDA Zones 8 - 10. Will tolerate short periods of freezing temperatures. The top will die back at temperatures in the mid 20's ºF (-6.7ºC); but will recover in the spring. Light frost tints the leaves a purple tinge; Propagation: Seeds, softwood cuttings.
Weeping lantana is perfect to use for colorful low maintenance groundcover. In frostfree areas it blooms continually. In areas where it is root hardy the weeping lantana begins blooming in mid to late summer up until heavy frost puts an end to the display. This is an excellent plant for containers and planters where its stems will cascade gracefully to indeterminate lengths. More and more gardeners in colder zones are growing both the weeping and common lantana (L. camara) as annuals. Both lantanas tolerate salty conditions and can be used in seaside plantings.
Weeping lantana is fast growing and easy to propagate, establish and maintain. The flowers are very attractive to butterflies and it is tolerant of hot and droughty conditions. The weeping lantana does not seem to naturalize as readily and isn't as invasive as its cousin, common lantana.
The unripe berries of Lantana species are toxic. Livestock and pets have become ill after eating the foliage.
Jack Scheper 12/01/96; updated 11/16/04