Saturday Sanpshots: up close and personal

Yesterday about 6 PM I was out with the geese in the front yard

Honestly, you’d think they hadn’t seen grass before!


When we moved here I never gave Lantana a thought in my gardening plans.  My reasoning was that in this environment if it would not be perennial,  it was  not worth my time or my interest.

I was wrong…

I had forgotten how quickly it grows, how happy it makes the hummingbirds and butterflies, or how colorful it can be.  It blooms all summer and just looks nice!  So, for 99 cents a plant, this color combination was worth it as a temporary color fix!  These colors remind me of rainbow sorbet on a hot day.

Not remembering if it had a *scent or not I went in for a quick sniff…
and immediately jerked back!  It seems that the quarter sized bloom clusters are a nice place to hang out if you are a miniature crab spider!

Consider this,  if the compound flower is only quarter sized, and you are small enough to grace the surface of only one of the individual flowers, well then,  you are very tiny indeed!  Don’t see the spider?  Click the photo for a closer view!


*The flowers do not have a scent, however the bush itself is highly aromatic, having a pungent, spicy aroma when brushed against.

39 thoughts on “Saturday Sanpshots: up close and personal

    • pixilated2 says:

      Patti, It is a nice plant to grow for the critters! Do you have a green house or a good kitchen window with sunlight? If so, you may want to try starting some cuttings next time. You can grow them in pots and then set them out in the spring.

      Actually, the easiest way is to force some branches down to the ground, cover them with a little soil, and then put a rock over the branch to hold it down. Soon the branch will root to the soil and you can cut it from the main plant for potting to bring inside. ~L

  1. littlesundog says:

    I have several of these around the place to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Deer to not like them… and they help to keep Daisy deer from eating everything with color around here! I also like them for their tolerance of heat and poor soil.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Lori, Those were the exact reasons I had them in my yard(s) in California! That and the fact that they were perennial there. 🙂

      We had drought weather this summer, and once I got them established they just grew without my help. Gotta love that! ~ L

  2. shoreacres says:

    Are you sure there aren’t some varieties that are perennial there? I’ve got a friend who lives just about the same latitude as Dallas/Fort Worth, and hers overwinter just fine. She has native plants – she says some of the cultivars are touchier. But you shouldn’t be farther north than that.

    Anyway, I love lantana, and just moan because I can’t get it to grow. I have to use pots, of course, and it will do ok for a while, and then – kaput. Of course, I’m pretty laid back about my so-called gardening. I do very well with Christmas cactus, Hawaiian schefflera, cactus and …. um… those spiky leafy things. LOL

    • pixilated2 says:

      Like I said, I could grow it very well in California, but here in N. Alabama it just gets too cold in winter. We get down into the teens and below, the coldest being “0” one night since we have been here. They just don’t hold up to snow and ice and very cold temps. Hey, Linda, how is your friend the cacti doing anyway? I loved that story! ~ L

  3. Victoria says:

    Lovely photo of these flowers.

    I always have trouble photographing Lantana flowers. They need to be in the shade to capture the detail and even then, most of my shots aren’t good. Must be the breeze blowing the flower around (or that’s my excuse anyway).

    Easy to see the little spider in your shot.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Ha, Victoria I had trouble with that very problem. I even got out my tripod, but it didn’t help with the breezes. In the end, I had to choose one of the hand held shots because I got lucky and the breeze didn’t blow. Thanks! ~ L

  4. Missus Tribble says:

    Over here we have tiny jumping Zebra Spiders. They are very sociable and really quite adorable to watch as they play hide-and-seek with the plant pots in the greenhouse 🙂

      • Missus Tribble says:

        Depending on their size I either don’t mind them or I’m utterly terrified – but I’ll never kill one and have used my phobia to study up on them.

        I don’t mind them in the garden at all, but a large one in the house? D has to remove it for me!

  5. dou dou says:

    We have one of those bushes in the yard – tons of butterflies around here but no hummingbirds – although I have heard that other people have seen them. I’m having a bird deficit.

    • pixilated2 says:

      I’m sorry about your bird deficit. 😦 We’ve been here four years and I am just this summer starting to see them hang around on a daily basis. I had to plant several different plants, and hang a feeder to accomplish this!

  6. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden says:

    I have never grown this particular plant, but I have read its praise on a couple of blogs recently and next summer I may have to get to know lantana better. Good thing that you noticed the spider just in the nick of time. Do crab spiders bite?

    • pixilated2 says:

      Jennifer, Lantana is disease resistant, bug resistant, and drought resistant too, or at least in my experience. Where you are it will most certainly be an annual, but it grows very fast! I love the many colors it comes in, and the range of color you find within the composite flower.
      As for the spider, I must agree that I was very glad to have seen it before I put my nose on it! LOL! As I shared with Steve, I do love the crab spider, but would not have appreciated getting that close to one. 😉 As far as biting goes, yes, they can but I have never read that they are dangerous in any way.
      ~ L

    • pixilated2 says:

      Steve, I believe they are. I wasn’t certain at first, because of the color variation. Then I remembered that they can change their color to fit their environment. Mine being so young has not adapted as yet. I don’t tell everyone this, but I love crab spiders. I think they are beautiful! ~ L

      • Steve Schwartzman says:

        And they’re plentiful, too: I see crab spiders just about every time I go wandering in nature. I don’t post as many pictures of them as I could, because, as you hinted, a lot of people seem to have an aversion to spiders. I’ll be showing “my” Mecaphesa asperata about 10 days from now in a three-part look at a native plant species.

  7. Cindy Kilpatrick says:

    I love both the pictures, spider and all! I’m still smiling from the mental image of you jumping when you saw the spider, partly because when I had you bending over to smell, I had your eyes closed as we often do when concentrating on other senses. I had to open your eyes very quickly and almost startled myself. 🙂

  8. dogear6 says:

    I didn’t see that spider and must have missed it the first time I read your post. Good catch! Steve is such a sweetie and does a wonderful job of sharing information.

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