Lantana trifolia

Common Name: shrub verbena 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Verbenaceae
Native Range: West Indies, Mexico, Central and South America
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 2.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Lavender, white, pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11. In St. Louis, grow as annual bedding plants or in containers that may be overwintered indoors in bright, cool (40s) locations. Container plants may be grown as rounded shrubs or trained as standards. Easily grown as bedding plants in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates poor soils. Cuttings may be taken in summer from favorite plants for overwintering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lantana trifolia is an upright tropical shrub that is grown as much for its fruit as for its flowers. it is not as commonly grown as Lantana camara. Native to Mexico, the West Indies and both Central and South America, it is a frost-tender perennial shrub that typically grows to 2-6’ tall. Often commonly called three-leaved lantana because its leaves usually appear in whorls of three. Leaves (to 4” long) are oblong to lance-shaped, toothed, rough-textured and dark green. Tiny 5-lobed flowers in dense flattened hemispherical clusters (to 2” diameter) bloom summer to fall. Flower color is typically lavender, but may also be closer to pink or white. Flowers are attractive to butterflies. As the flowers fade, the flowering spikes elongates to form popcorn-like spikes of lavender fruits, hence the sometimes common name of lavender popcorn for this species. Some gardeners believe the unique fruits have more ornamental attraction and interest than the flowers.

Genus name comes from the Latin name for Viburnum transferred to this genus.

Specific epithet means three-leaved.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for whiteflies and spider mites, particularly on overwintering plants.


Annual bedding plant. Containers. Houseplant.