Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Garden photos: Lantanas of Olavipe

The British never invaded India. But, in a manner of speaking, the lantanas which they introduced at the beginning of the 19c as a garden plant did. It is considered to be among the most invasive weeds in the world.

Nevertheless, the lantana flowers are beautiful. They come in a number of colors. As they mature, the lantana blooms change color and you can see two or three hues on the same bunch of flowers. The invasive character of lantana can be controlled if proper attention is paid right from the time it is planted.

One interesting point I have noticed is that the butterflies are attracted more by the lantanas than the other flowers around them. So much so, one patch of our garden where a group of lantanas grow has come to be called ‘butterfly corner’.

It is said that lantana finds a place in folk medicine as an antiseptic and also for various health problems like itches and scabies, eczema, swellings, tumors, high blood pressure, infections, tetanus etc. It is also used as firewood in many areas.

The local names of lantana include Raimuniya, Samballei, Thirei, Nongballei, Tantani, Unnichedi, Konginipoo, Aripoo, and Ghaner.

Given below are some of the photographs I took of the lantanas at Olavipe. (I have a doubt whether the plant in the last picture is really a lantana.)


Copyright reserved. Click on images for enlarged view.

Also see:

Photos: Flowers from Peermade

Kerala Flowers?


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Sunita said...

Beautiful photos!
Actually, you're right. That last photo is not of lantanas but a Star Flower also known as Pentas.
No problem.... they look pretty anyway.

Indrani said...

They are so beautiful and attract lot of butterflies. I have them in my balcony garden. Sad some consider them as a useless weed. Recently there was an article on this weed being used for making furniture.

This is the link:


I wonder why these are considered weeds, they are so decorative!

Abraham Tharakan said...

Sunita, thanks for the clarification on pentas.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Indrani, thanks for the comment and the link.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Raji, if lantanas are left alone they spread, choking other growth. The right thing is to keep them under control and enjoy the beautiful flowers and the butterflies that come to them.