Love and Hate

Lantana evokes strong emotions here at The Strawberry Patch, my butterflies love it…..I hate it. I mean I really hate it. I spent the first couple of years after we moved here on my own personal lantana eradication program. Apparently the prior owner liked it as much as the butterflies because she planted everywhere.

Why such hate? It stinks, literally. The scent is so strong that if you accidentally bump it, a powerful, nauseating stench releases from the leaves. To a butterfly however, lantana is like Chanel No. 5. I have allowed one bush to remain strictly to attract them and will often see up to a dozen or so hovering around.

On a positive note, I will say that lantana has abundant flowers all summer long and they are quite pretty, although small in size. So, I held my nose and snapped a few shots of the different phases of bloom….

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11 thoughts on “Love and Hate

  1. I love lantana, despite its smell, but they can only be grown in pots here as they hate our winters. So I suppose one plant is bearable scentwise!

  2. I have a few plants I would like to eradicate from my property! I have started with Archangel and am now wondering if I made a mistake with the Celadine Poppy, Oh gardening mistakes!

  3. Well, this post made me laugh! I’ve had lantanta every year at my mailbox–and you’re right, the butterflies love it. But it becomes tree-like by the end of the summer–I have to keep hacking it back so that we can see to get out of the driveway! So, this year, I’ve planted gladiolas instead. 🙂

  4. Mention lantana to an Australian and you’ll certainly receive a spirited response! It was introduced early on by the colonists and quickly went feral. It has overrun untold thousands of hectares of native bush, smothering everything in its path in huge thickets. Bush regeneration people spend a lot of energy ripping it out.

    I know very well the smell you describe. In the Australian summer it can be quite overpowering. Agreed: it’s a pretty flower and apparently you can get non-invasive cultivars.

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