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Plant Identification: SOLVED: Vigorous Minty Plant with small pink blossoms.

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Forum: Plant IdentificationReplies: 9, Views: 85
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guygee
Satellite Beach, FL

March 17, 2013
4:10 PM

Post #9452759

This plant was given to me by a neighbor 2-3 years ago. It comes easily from cuttings. The leaves have an aromatic scent that I cannot quite place, when crushed or even brushed against. It has not spread by seeds, rhizomes or any other means in my East Central Florida location. It tends to a small bush, but in the specimen shown I have been continually tying the branches to homegrown bamboo sticks and that seems to make it want to grow even more. Also there is a bin of rain water that I had near the plant ... some the the branches laid down into the bin and formed long roots ... I just let it go like that.
The small pink blossoms are growing all along the stems at nodes right now. If anyone can help me ID this one, I appreciate it. Hopefully it is an obvious one ... a lot of people in the neighborhood have it already.

Thumbnail by guygee   Thumbnail by guygee   Thumbnail by guygee
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TomH3787
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 17, 2013
4:35 PM

Post #9452786

It looks like a Lantana sp. but I'm not sure which one. Lantana canescens is close but its flowers are not pink as far as I know. If not, at least something in the Verbenaceae family.
guygee
Satellite Beach, FL

March 17, 2013
4:53 PM

Post #9452797

Thank you, that is a good lead I had not suspected, I am going to follow up on that possibility.
Whatever it is , I love this plant.

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

March 17, 2013
5:05 PM

Post #9452818

Possibly Lantana involuctata

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/2335/
guygee
Satellite Beach, FL

March 17, 2013
5:25 PM

Post #9452834

I am still looking into the suggestions, but thought I would try one more picture. There is a six-inch ruler and a US quarter in the picture for scale. Sorry it is a bit washed out. It is worth noting that the leaves are slightly but most definitely tormentose. There are no berries that I have ever seen. Perhaps it just won't fruit. Both the flowers and the leaves are fragrant when crushed or even disturbed, the flowers more so. Yes, the fragrance is somewhat like sage.

This message was edited Mar 17, 2013 7:29 PM

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guygee
Satellite Beach, FL

March 17, 2013
6:22 PM

Post #9452893

OK, After a brief but intense period of research I like Lantana for this one. It absolutely does not seed, much less volunteer, so perhaps some hybrid although it only has small blossoms, not showy. I like the suggestion of Lantana involuctata but I am strongly leaning towards Lantana montevidensis. I don't think I am going to get any further with this one, so I consider it closed.

I consider the odor pleasant, my neighbor who gave it to me agrees. Floridata says "cat pee". Whatever.

Thank you for the help!

This message was edited Mar 17, 2013 8:24 PM
OCCAROL
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 10b)

March 17, 2013
7:09 PM

Post #9452931

I'm not saying it's not L. montevidensis, but the L. montevidrsis I worked amongst on the freeways here for 20 years are purple/ blue. The only nice thing I can say about them is that that's the only plant the gophers won't touch unless they're starving.
guygee
Satellite Beach, FL

March 18, 2013
1:24 AM

Post #9453101

[quote="OCCAROL"]I'm not saying it's not L. montevidensis, but the L. montevidrsis I worked amongst on the freeways here for 20 years are purple/ blue. The only nice thing I can say about them is that that's the only plant the gophers won't touch unless they're starving.[/quote]

Good to know, good to hear the voice of experience.

This one does not make seeds, period. Therefore it could not be on highways unless somebody put it there ... the only way this looks like it could spread is if it overhung a stream, and rooted branches broke off or uprooted in high water and found more dry earth downstream. This plant is seriously durable and does not mind drought either, so if it did fruit and seed I could see it being a problem.

That is why I am thinking it is a hybrid of some sort. It seems to be a "safe Lantana". although hardly spectacular. I will have to evaluate it further before I go all in with that assessment, but it looks solid right now.

I really appreciate all the input, thank you!
OCCAROL
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 10b)

March 18, 2013
2:14 PM

Post #9453788

It is not naturalized here. CalTrans planted miles of it on the freeways for color and easy maintenance. It is draught tolorant when established.
guygee
Satellite Beach, FL

March 19, 2013
5:49 AM

Post #9454471

[quote="OCCAROL"]It is not naturalized here. CalTrans planted miles of it on the freeways for color and easy maintenance. It is draught tolorant when established.[/quote]
OK, that is a key point because there is a lot of literature discussing the "invasive" tendencies of Lantana species in Florida, taking into account that in the general literature there seems to be a lot of confusion between plants that may become naturalized and what constitutes invasiveness.

I have extensively explored what remains of the barrier island habitats both on the dune and in the interior palmetto scrub, back into the mangrove regions on the lagoon side. I have not observed this particular plant as having naturalized in this local region either.

Perhaps I may have marked this as "closed" prematurely, but having had it narrowed down to Lantana genus, and with so many cultivars and hybrids of Lantana, I do not think anymore progress can be made. Classification as genus Lantana has ruled out use as an edible or an herb. There may be as yet unknown medicinal properties for this plant but the means to discover those independently are beyond my capabilities unless I can find something in the scientific or folk literature on that aspect, in which case I will update this thread.

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