Lantana balsamifera

Lantana balsamifera Britt

Common Names: Inagua Sagebrush

Family: Verbenaceae

Habit: Lantana balsamifera grows as a low shrub up to 0.5 m in height spreading to form low mounds.  New vegetation is pubescent. The leaves are arranged oppositely, up to 1 cm long/wide, round, with crenulate leaf margins, and an attenuate leaf base.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in a cymose fashion with involucral bracts.  The calyx has 4 fused greenish sepals.  The corolla has 4 fused, white to pink petals with a yellow center. There are 4 stamens that are fused to the corolla.  The ovary is superior with 2 locules and becomes a drupe at maturity.

Habitat: Lantana balsamifera grows in Coccothrinax argentata dominated Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formation – Woodland (coppice).

Distribution: Lantana balsamifera is endemic to the Lucayan Archipelago occurring in the southern and island groupings.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Lantana balsamifera is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

The flowers are very attractive to butterflies and the fruits for birds.  L. balsamifera does well in coastal areas and could be used in the horticultural industry.