Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

Hybrid Lantana, LANTANA x HYBRIDUM, flowers

from the September 7, 2014 Newsletter issued from the Frio Canyon Nature Education Center in the valley of the Dry Frio River in northern Uvalde County, southwestern Texas, on the southern border of the Edwards Plateau, USA

In the parking lot of Uvalde's fine El Progreso Memorial Library a certain bush forms a dense, knee-high, broadly spreading mound with some of its side branches sprawling onto the pavement, as shown below:

Hybrid Lantana, LANTANA x HYBRIDUM

Up close, at the top of this page, you can see the bilaterally symmetrical flowers with their slender, curved tubes arising from stems with two leaves per node (opposite) and which are square in cross section.

Gardeners recognize this as a lantana, close to Lantana camara, which grew beside the Red Cabin in the valley where I lived earlier, and is featured at http://www.backyardnature.net/n/w/lantana2.htm.

Lantana camara has produced many cultivars with flowers mostly in the yellow-pink range, the colors often changing as the flowers mature, but some cultivar flowers are pure yellow or orangish. However, cultivars shown on the Internet tend to have their flowers more tightly clustered than those in our picture. Of hundreds of pictures scanned, only one matched our flowers' looser arrangement and color -- one on a University of Florida page listing their plant's name as Hybrid Lantana, LANTANA x HYBRIDUM.

The "x hybridum" species name often is appended to plants whose genes are so hopelessly scrambled by years of hybridization and other genetic tricks that it would be misleading to list the two dominant parent species. It's just "hybridum." It is what you see when you see it.