The other common name of Lantana is Shrub Verbena. It is known as Kasooti hoo, Kaadu jola, Chaduranga in Kannada and Raimuniya in Hindi. The botanical name is Lantana camara and belongs to Verbenaceae (Verbena) family. They are native to tropical regions of the Americas and Africa. Now, this plant is introduced to many regions of the world and is invasive in certain regions.
Lantana is the most common wildflower seen almost in all regions of India. They are seen growing almost in all conditions and add a dash of color.
Lantana is an evergreen and perennial shrub and grows wildly in the tropical regions. The plant grows to a height of 6 feet and can spread to a width of 8 feet and above. Few variants are climbers and need support to grow taller.
The leaves are green and textured. They are 2 to 5 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide. When the leaves are crushed, there is a bad smell and hence in Kannada this plant is known as “Hesige Hoovu”. The leaves are toxic to herbivorous animals and hence becomes difficult to contain the plant.
The flowers bloom throughout the year in various shades. Lantana wins hands down on the number of colors that it can bloom in and double colors as well! The flowers bloom in clusters.
There are many cultivars developed to beautify the gardens. These when potted in a hanging pot grows well and adds color when in bloom.
Lantana flowers attracts bees, butterflies, and birds.
Lantana wood is used to make Channapattana toys and various handicraft articles. In the Malai Mahadeshwar Hills (M.M.Hills) and Biligiri Ranga Hills (B.R.Hills), tribal like the Soliga, Korava and Palliyar extensively use the Lantana wood to make various articles like trays, pen stands, and so on.
This plant is very popular to grow in Butterfly parks.
You can propagate Lantana from seeds. Lantana plant is easy to grow and requires the least maintenance. Plant in full sunlight in well-draining soil. Water daily.