Fairly common in many landscapes, shrub verbena, or Lantana camara, is an attractive perennial which comes in a number of colours and forms. It can be grown as a shrub, a dwarf shrub, a trailing/cascading accent, in containers or along walls.
Shrub verbena can have many different colours including yellow, orange, red, light pink, dark pink, lavender and white, and some varieties even have gray or variegated leaves.
All shrub verbena have fragrant leaves when bruised and some varieties even have fragrant flowers. Blooming year round, these solid performers often times have multiple colours on the same flower cluster, making them an excellent accent to any garden scheme. Shrub verbena is also well known for attracting butterflies, by both its fragrance and range of colours.
Native to Central and South America, this plant prefers full sun and is genuinely drought tolerant once established. Performing best in well-draining soils, shrub verbena is known to also tolerate a wide variety of soil profiles, including poor soils. In temperate climates Lantana camara is typically grown as an annual due to its susceptibility to frost.
In warmer/tropical climates such as the Caribbean, shrub verbena is usually grown as a perennial. However, it is important to keep in mind that Lantana camara is known to have the potential of becoming highly invasive. Because it tolerates a range of conditions and is very drought tolerant, it does have the possibility to get out of control. With that in mind, it is essential to be sure to choose the correct variety for your garden space, and be sure that you are keeping it properly maintained.
Shrub verbena can be found in several locations around Camana Bay including The Paseo where it bursts colour in the beds along the walkway. Many of the shrub verbena in Camana Bay are great examples of varieties that are suited for the Cayman Islands and have little or no threat of becoming invasive.