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.
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.
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.
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.
OCCAROL wrote: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.
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.
OCCAROL wrote:It is not naturalized here. CalTrans planted miles of it on the freeways for color and easy maintenance. It is draught tolorant when established.
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.