Last week one of my friends moved into a house which has a huge backyard. The kitchen windows overseed the pathway and the ‘almost’ dead shrubs of bottlebrush in an otherwise empty garden with a handful of standing trees. Whilst unpacking and setting the kitchen, my friend mentioned to me that he was looking for some shrubs or plants around the path which should be colorful and increase the presence of the garden.
Hearing this, Lantana plant (Lantana camara) was the first thing which came to my mind! It was colorful, started small, lived in pretty much all weather conditions and most importantly invited butterflies in abundance!
Our twitter follower @cherilyntx clicked a marvelous picture of the Lantana!
Lantanas are one of the fast spreading species and they look stunning while they bloom. With mini flowers in the flower head, called as florets, they are in red, pink, purple/violet, white, yellow and few more shades of colors! It can easily spread between 6 to 7 feet (almost 2 meters) in height and width and it does survive drought conditions. In harsh winters, it might wither off, but if taken proper care, it jumps back to life as soon as spring arrives!
The flowers/florets are a treat for the butterflies and hummingbirds! Monarch butterfly, Mourning Cloak, Tiger Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail are just to name a few of them which easily come around the Lantanas making the place lively. The species of butterflies will differ from which continent you are in. The morning sun is the perfect time to spot these butterflies around the plant sucking nectar from the flowers.
Though these Lantanas are native to the Americas and few regions of Africa, it ranks as a heavily invasive specie in Australia, Asian regions like India and South African regions. As the leaves are poisonous for animals, many countries have taken action to eradicate the plant or reduce it on a big scale. This strong plant blooms notwithstanding the efforts taken by the Australians which went completely in vain. In India, its the same case where the efforts of bringing down this plant were not fruitful. Lack of awareness in the earlier centuries was the reason to plant these pretty plants on large scale for decorations everywhere.
But worry not! Verify this in your local nursery and plant these butterfly attractors in your garden!
If you have one right now in your backyard, feel free to share with us in the comments!
Image inputs from Pixabay, Wikipedia and specified otherwise. Video inputs from YouTube