Monday, November 12, 2012

Binomen Art - Lantana


Lantana Spelled Out with Berries (left) and Floret and Berries (right)
LantanaLantana
We made me stop were the berries. I never saw Lantana with berries, green (unripe) and blue-black (ripe) berries. Time for a binomen-art project. I believe this is Lantana camara or Lantana montevidensis a plant in the Verbenaceae (Verbena) family. I guess Lantana is quite evasive, however, for this dusty front yard in Henderson Nevada it seemed so innocent and brought some much needed color. Looks can be deceiving.

I plucked a few of the berries (drupes) and arranged to them spell the generic name, Lantana. The generic name origin according to Quattrocchi is: related to the ancient name for viburnum and in spoken Latin it is called lentaginem, from lentus “pliant” (“lenta viburnum”). (I swear I heard someone say lentaginem on the bus the other day.)

The common name of L. camara is Spanish Flag or West Indian Lantana. Because L. camara emits a pungent odor (when you crush the leaves for example), a few local common names reference the smell. My favorite is the Filipino (Tagalog) utot-utot ‘fart’ [flower].

Lantana Spelled Out with Berries (left) and Floret and Berries (right)
LantanaLantana

Lantana Berries
Lantana Lantana

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