Herbs & Plants

Putush Phul (Lantana camara)

Botanical Name : Lantana camara
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Lantana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: L. camara
Common names:Lantana   yellow sage   red sage
English: Coronitas
Bengali Name: Putush phool

Habitat : The native range of Lantana camara includes Mexico, Central America, the Greater Antilles, The Bahamas, Colombia, and Venezuela. It is believed to be indigenous to the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the United States.  It has become naturalized in tropical and warm regions worldwide. In the Kenyan highlands it grows in many areas that receive even minimal amounts of rainfall. It can be seen in the wild and along footpaths, deserted fields, and farms. West Indian Lantana has been naturalized in the United States, particularly in the Atlantic coastal plains, from Florida to Georgia, where the climate is close to its native climate, with high heat and humidity.

Common lantana is a rugged evergreen shrub from the tropics. The species will grow to 6 ft (1.8 m) high and may spread to 8 ft (2.4 m) in width with some varieties able to clamber vinelike up supports to greater heights with the help of support.. Stems and leaves are covered with rough hairs and emit an unpleasant aroma when crushed (smells like cat pee). The small flowers are held in clusters (called umbels) that are typically 1-2 in (2.5-5.1 cm) across. In the tropics lantana is a non-stop bloomer. Where it is killed to the ground by frost the lantana blooms in summer and fall. Flower color ranges from white to yellow, orange to red, pink to rose in unlimited combinations, in addition the flowers usually change in color as they age. A lantana may look orange from a distance but the flowerhead is examined at close range it consists of individual white, yellow and red flowers that blend when viewed from afar. Flowers are often found in such colors as pink, yellow, purple, orange, red or various.

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•Leaves: ovate, 5 to 9 cm long, pointed at the tip and rounded at the base and toothed in the margins  and a textured surface..
•Flowers: pink, orange, yellow, white, lilac and other shades, according to the variety and borne in stalked heads which are 2 to 3.5 cm in diameter. Calyx small. Corolla tube slender, the limb spreading, 6 to 7 mm wide, and divided into unequal lobes. Stamens 4, in 2 pairs, included. Ovary 2-celled, 2-ovuled.
•Fruits: Sweet tasting drupaceous fruit; purple or black, fleshy ovoid, and about 5 mm long.

Lantana is very easy to grow and will adapt to most soil types. Too much water and fertilizer will reduce bloom
Light: Sun, part shade.

Moisture: Well drained soil is preferred. Lantana is very drought resistant. .
Hardiness: USDA Zones 8-11. Lantana is happy in both humid and dry heat. This tropical plant is killed back to the ground at 28 ºF (-2.2 ºC) but will grow back from the roots when warm weather returns.

.Propagation: By seed or cuttings taken in the summertime. Lantana hybrids and named selections are propagated by cuttings.

Leaves: volatile oil, 0.2%.
Dried flowers: volatile oil, 0.07% – caryophyllene-like bicyclic terpene, 80%, l,a-phellandrene, 10-12%.
Bark: Lantanine, 0.08%.

Parts utilized and preparation of medicines:-
•Leaves, bark, roots, flowering tops.
•May be collected throughout the year.

Characteristics and Pharmacological Effects
•Root: sweet and bitter tasting, refrigerant, antifebrile.
•Leaves: minty tasting, cooling natured, antiphlogistic, anti-dermatoses.
•Flowers: sweet tasting, mildly cooling, hemostatic.

Medicinal uses:
•Influenza, cough, mumps, incessant high fever, malaria, cervical lymph node tuberculosis: use 30 to 60 gms dried roots or 60 to 120 gms fresh roots in decoction.
•Fever: Take decoction of bark or infusion of leaves and flowering tops as tea.
•Hemoptysis, pulmonary tuberculosis: use 6 to 9 gms dried flowers in decoction.
•Dermatitis, eczema, pruritus: use fresh stems and leaves.
•Rheumatism – Spread oil on leaves, warm over low flame and apply on affected part.
•Sprains, wounds, contusions: Use pounded fresh leaves applied as poultice.

Other Uses:
In warm winter zones use lantana and its cultivars in mixed beds and borders. Lantana will add vibrant long-lasting color to shrub groupings. This is a fast growing shrub that is quick to flower so gardeners in cold climates can enjoy this tropical plant as an annual. Lantana tolerates salt spray and can be used in beach plantings. Lantana makes an excellent container plant and several smaller sized cultivars are offered just for this use.

There are more than a 100 Lantana species and many of these are showing up in garden centers in one form or another. If you live in Zone 8-12 look for lantana varieties and hybrids at your garden center that are better behaved than the species – avoid digging naturalized lantana from the wild for your garden to avoid furthering its spread. Choose selected garden varieties instead.

Another lantana species that is also a popular garden plant is the weeping or trailing lantana Lantana montevidensis which is low growing trailing species that is particularly nice for hanging containers and groundcover.

Some communities have found alternate uses for West Indian Lantana, as it is difficult to eradicate. Some household furniture, such as tables and chairs are made from the stalks, or the small branches are bundled together to make brooms.

West Indian Lantana has become popular in gardens for its hardy nature. It is not affected by pests or disease, has low water requirements, and is tolerant of extreme heat. It is a favorite species of butterflies, and used in butterfly gardens in the United States. Wild species may have short, hooked prickles. Lantana cultivars favored as ornamentals tend to have small herbaceous stems.

West Indian Lantana has been reported to make animals ill after ingestion. The pentacyclic triterpenoids its foliage contains cause hepatotoxicity and photosensitivity in grazing animals such as sheep, goats, bovines, and horses. Livestock foraging on the plant has led to widespread losses in the United States, South Africa, India, Mexico, and Australia. The berries are edible when ripe though like many fruit are mildly poisonous to humans and livestock if eaten while still green.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Kantutay – Scientific name: Lantana camara L.

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