July 24, 2016
What could this be? It came up on nearby property. The plant first had broad glossy leaves but they have wilted.
It has been a good year for members of the arum family. It is the seed stalk from either an Italian arum, Jack-in-the-pulpit, or a Green dragon (Arisaema dracontium). I have seen more Italian arums than any others, but they all produce a seed stalk of orange or red berries. The plants grow in the cooler months, bloom with a spathe-like bloom and then the foliage dies away leaving only the seed stalks remaining. They do multiply from the seeds, and colonies can form over time. The foliage is quite diverse depending on which plant you have.
In a recent issue of Southern Living there was an article on lantanas. It said that lantanas are native to tropical America and may be annuals or perennials, depending on where you live. We live in Heber Springs. Would these flowers do well here? If so, where can we get plants or seeds? We like the idea of something that is hardy and blooms spring until fall. Thanks for your assistance.
Lantana plants would be considered an annual in Heber Springs, although it is perennial in south Arkansas and even occasionally in Little Rock. In mild winters it may over winter further north, but don't count on it. Lantana is a common plant at most nurseries and garden centers statewide. It has been on the market for years. Newer varieties have been released that are self-cleaning, meaning they don't set as many seeds, and the plants bloom more freely without the need to deadhead. Lantana thrives in hot weather. It won't kick in and grow when the weather is cool in early spring, but once the soil temperature heats up, this plant will bloom up until frost. It comes in a variety of colors from yellows, whites, reds, and the traditional multi colored blooms of yellow and oranges. Give it plenty of sunlight and fertilize monthly throughout the blooming season.
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