Blossom XXXI: Lantana

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“For it is in giving that we receive.”
.
Francis of Assisi

Lantana proves a most generous flower.  It’s prolific blooms, full of sweet nectar, nourish butterflies from May until November.

As each flower fades, a small berry forms in its place.  These delight our hungry birds.

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“Generosity does not come from wealth.
Wealth comes from the flowers of kindness and love.”
.
Debasish Mridha

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Lantana asks little for itself.  It thrives in poor soil.  It tolerates weeks of drought as its deep, sturdy roots seek out water to fuel its prolific blossoms.

It covers itself in flowers continually, growing ever larger, week by week, until it is touched by frost.

Its sturdy, green leaves soak in every ray of summer sun without wilt or burn.

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“When a person becomes aware of their genius
and they live it and they give generously from it,
they change the world, they affect the world.
And when they depart
everyone knows something is missing.”
.
Michael Meade

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Many of the Lantana that we planted five or more years ago have firmly established themselves in our garden.  Their woody bones burst into life in late spring, and they quickly grow back to enormous proportions.  We leave their skeletons in place through the winter, where they offer shelter and food to the birds who hang back in our garden.

Their drying berries provide a long lasting source of food.  Their dense branches and soft, fallen leaves give shelter from wind and snow.  Small birds play in their structure,  flying in an out of openings in the canopy as they search for insects.

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We wait to cut the Lantana back until the Crocus are blooming.  Once we see these signs of spring, we cut them hard, nearly back to the ground.  Their beds are opened once again to the warming sun.

Bulbs bloom, roses bloom, grass greens, spring settles; and finally, the Lantana re-awaken;  their first blossoms opening in time to greet a new generation of visitors to our garden.

.
Woodland Gnome 2017

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“The Universe blesses a generous heart.”
.
Eileen Anglin
.
Blossom XXV: Elegance
Blossom XXVI: Angel Wing Begonia
Blossom XXVII: Life 
Blossom XXVIII: Fennel 
Blossom XXIV:  Buddleia 
Blossom XXX:  Garlic Chives
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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

12 responses to “Blossom XXXI: Lantana

  1. what gorgeous photos! I loved the tiny lantana flowers as a child growing up in Sydney but in most Australian states it is now classified as a noxious weed, I guess we have the climate for it to grow rampant and take over.

    • It is beautiful , and supports wildlife , but is considered invasive further south along the United States east coast. This is the first year seedlings have self sown in our garden . I can understand why Australia would classify it as a weed. It certainly crowds out everything growing nearby, and grows to more than 2 meters tall before frost . Thank you for visiting and for leaving a note .

  2. Elizabeth, this plant reminds me of Shel Silverstein”s “The Giving Tree…”
    Only better, because it comes back to give again and again.
    Lovely collage.
    ~Jane

  3. I’ve always treated Lantana as an annual. Maybe a little more patience would pay off.

    • Rickii, I have pulled up a Lantana too soon in your spring , thinking it dead, too many times . They can be very slow to sprout in the spring , and you want something new and attractive in the space . I didn’t believe any of last year’s L. ‘Chapel Hill Yellow’ had survived, and pulled up several of them . And then I found one deep in the border , blooming , in mid-August . Since, some seedlings appeared , too. Try L. ‘Miss Huff,’ which is reliability perennial in Zone 7.

  4. hear hear – a post to celebrate Lantana.
    loved this – and did not realize the berry that comes after a bloom and provides food – makes sense tho.
    glad your five years of lantana joy continues – and great colorful photos with Mr. Butterfly.
    🙂
    I have none right now, but did have a white variety return in this back side bed that was special to me – the area had a hosta from a neighbor, a butterfly bush, bulbs, and a transplanted clematis that was getting strangled up front (literally had a weed growing in and around the roots and so I had to yank it up to de-weed – but it was never the same – some weeds are so bad) – anyhow, that little garden plot is long gone – had to clear it – just wasn’t working for a few reasons, but for a little while it was like the catch all.

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