Lantana on the trail

Another report on the plants out my front door and in my neighborhood. A scene around the corner from my house in Palo Alto, showing a street planting of trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis) between the sidewalk and the white picket fence around an urban farmhouse (a survival from an earlier time):

(#1) Northeast corner of Emerson and Homer, across Emerson from the Whole Foods; across Homer from tech and fashion shops; diagonally across from the Greek restaurant Taverna (formerly the Mexican restaurant La Morenita)

(There’s another such hedge in front of the cardiology building at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, where I’m often to be found these days. And other places around town; it’s a sturdy, pretty plant.)

Up close, in an image from the net:


From Wikipedia:

Lantana montevidensis is a species of lantana known by many common names, such as: trailing lantana, weeping lantana, creeping lantana, small lantana, purple lantana or trailing shrub verbena [the flowers and mode of growth are similar to those of moss verbena].

This lantana is native to South America.

Lantana montevidensis is a small strongly scented flowering low shrub with oval-shaped green leaves. With support it has a climbing ‘vine’ form, when on edge a trailing form, and on the flat a groundcover form.

The inflorescence is a circular head of several purple to lavender to white funnel-shaped flowers with lobed corollas each nearly a centimeter wide.

On the genus, from my 9/12/15 posting “Chaste trees and jumping spiders”:

Lantanas are [tender perennials] widely grown as container plants and hanging basket plants, but in warm-enough zones they can be grown as sprawling low shrubs.

#3 there shows Lantana camara — the standard ornamental lantana — in containers. From Wikipedia:


Lantana camara, also known as big-sage (Malaysia), wild-sage, red-sage, white-sage (Caribbean), tickberry (South Africa), and West Indian lantana [or Spanish flag] is a species of flowering plant within the verbena family, Verbenaceae, that is native to the American tropics.

Lantana camara, often planted to embellish gardens, has spread from its native Central and South America to around 50 different countries, where it has become an invasive species. It spread from the Americas into the rest of the world when it was brought back to Europe by Dutch explorers and cultivated widely, soon spreading into Asia and Oceania, where it established itself as a notorious weed.

And why it’s often known as Spanish flag (flag ‘banner, pennant’, not flag ‘iris’):

(#4) The Spanish flag

But it’s not the only Spanish flag in the plant world. From Wikipedia:

(#5) Spanish flag vine on top, sprawling petunioid calibrachoas at the bottom

Ipomoea lobata, the fire vine, firecracker vine or Spanish flag (formerly Mina lobata) is a species of flowering plant in the family Convolvulaceae, native to Mexico and Brazil. … The name “Spanish flag” is also used for Lantana camara, an ornamental shrub.

Growing to 5 m (16 ft) tall, I. lobata is a perennial climber often cultivated in temperate regions as an annual. It has toothed and lobed leaves (hence lobata) and one-sided racemes of flowers, opening red and fading to yellow, cream and white. These colours are graded down the length of the flower spike. The effect is like a firework, hence one of its popular names “firecracker vine”. The colours vaguely resemble the red and gold of the Spanish national flag, hence its other common name “Spanish flag”.

I. lobata requires a minimum temperature of 5 °C (41 °F), and a warm, sheltered spot in full sun (either south- or west-facing).

It is closely related to two other popular, award-winning climbing plants, Ipomoea indica (“blue dawn flower”) and Ipomoea tricolor (“morning glory”).

On caibrachoas, from Wikipedia:

Calibrachoa is a genus of plants in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. They are evergreen short-lived perennials and subshrubs with a sprawling habit, with small petunia-type flowers. They are found across much the same region of South America as petunias, from southern Brazil across to Peru and Chile, inhabiting scrub and open grassland.

Calibrachoa are closely related to Petunia.

… Some Calibrachoa [hybrids] are cultivated as ornamental plants, popularly known as “Million Bells”.

Finally, one more botanical Spanish flag. From the Bakker nursery site:


Bakker has already sold these two different cultivars in one pot, now these 2 very successful plants are available as one plant! Climbing Rose ‘Spanish Flag Duo’ is such a beautiful climbing rose with a combination of two rose cultivars grafted onto one base plant. The red roses of ‘Flammentanz’ and the (lightly scented) bright yellow of ‘Golden Showers’ [perhaps not the best choice of name] are grafted together. Both varieties are very strong and will flower profusely right into autumn.

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