Lantana camara, by Bob Mitchell - Part 2 of 2 

Lantana camara is registered as one of the world¹s most invasive plants.  Its natural home is south America and is now pretty well in most warm temperate countries.  Yet it is a very decorative plant which adorns glasshouses in cold regions.  In the wild it is a good source of honey for humming birds and butterflies, hence its presence in the Butterfly House.

I always seem to choose a plant with a name which has a difficult background, for Lantana camara although described by Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum 2:627 in 1753, the type specimen is attributed to Moldenke and Moldenke.   So Lantana camara is a conserved name.  The type specimen came from George Clifford (1685-1760), a wealthy Anglo-Dutch banker in Amsterdam and a Director of the Dutch East India Company.  Linnaeus visited his garden and named many of his plants so acquired specimens for his own herbarium.

Lantana camara is an evergreen shrub to 2 m with ovate leaves whose edges are scalloped.  The multi-headed flowers vary in colour from yellow to orange and red.  The plant will flower throughout the year in ideal growing situations.   The orange-flowered plant was photographed in the Cape Verde Islands.

The Tropical Butterfly House is open daily and tickets can be purchased for £2.95 at the Ticket Office.