March 19th, 2013 ~ last day before the Vernal Equinox

March 19th, 2013 by Sherri

Lantana camara, "Evita Lemon"

 

Mother Nature, with her impish sense of humor, seems to be torturing some of us with a small snow storm today, this day before the Vernal Equinox.  However, there is definitely a ray of sunshine peaking through to the greenhouse plants. The Lantana camara “Evita Lemon”, an annual chosen for our full sun window boxes & planters,  has just started blooming. Lantana also known as Spanish Flag or West Indian Lantana, is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family, Verbenaceae. West Indian Lantana has become popular in gardens for its hardy nature. It is not affected by pests or disease, has low water requirements, and is tolerant of extreme heat. It is a favorite species of butterflies, and often used in butterfly gardens. Lantana has a distinctive pungent odor some say is similar to that of tomato greens. I think it has a lovely crisp citrus scent to it. This fantastically tolerant plant comes in many many blossom colors, from pale to hot pinks, various shades of reds and oranges, deep golden yellows to a soft lemon color,  as well as white. This is a must plant to incorporate into your annual mix!

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