Lantana urticoides (L. horrida)
Texas lantana is a stalwart in Texas landscapes; Texas lantana grows in various soils throughout the state, most abundantly along the coast and in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Mexico. It is a low, spreading shrub with rough and aromatic leaves. It grows best in poor, sandy, gravelly soils in hot, dry areas, in full sun or light shade. In all but the very southern part of the state, its branches die back in winter and emerge again in spring. Where it does not die back, its stems should be cut back after frost and periodically during the growing season, both to keep it compact and because it flowers on new wood. In mid-to-late summer, Lantana flowers profusely with the start of hot weather, with small red, yellow and orange flowers clumped together in clusters.
Although its leaves are poisonous to livestock and humans, its nectar is a favorite of butterflies, and many birds eat the fruit. Lantana is the choice for those sites in full sun that are neglected or too far from the hose. Once established, it takes virtually no care except trimming back and flowers consistently from mid-summer on, always attracting butterflies.
Light: Full Sun
Zone: 8, 9, 10, 11
Origin: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona