The World in Multicolour

What’s in a name?

in: Cultural diversity

Would a lantana flower by any other name smell as sweet?

Choosing a name for a business is often a long and exhausting process: a name that starts out sounding fun and dynamic ends up resembling something your well-meaning granny might suggest. In their article on choosing a name for a new enterprise, suggests that baptising a business is much like laying the cornerstone to a building. That’s a lot of pressure for anyone taking on this creative responsibility!

After a lot of thinking (and hair pulling) we decided on the name Lantana Publishing. Why Lantana, we hear you say? Are we named after the 2001 Australian film starring Geoffrey Rush? Or the Spanish singer/songwriter, also known as Alba Gárate? Or the town in Florida famed for its large population of Finns?

No! We wanted to choose a name that fundamentally represented our mission to promote cultural diversity in children’s publishing. We are called Lantana after the lantana flower, genus of the Verbena family, a perennial flowering plant that is native to much of North and South America and Africa, and has been introduced to countries around the world, particularly in the Australia/Pacific region.

The Lantana flower is one of the only flowers in the world that has petals of many colours on one stem. Here is a photo that Alice took while she was on holiday in Guatemala recently.


With its petals of many colours, we thought the Lantana flower would be a perfect way to represent diversity. Not only does it flourish in much of the world, and particularly those areas we would love to represent in our books, but it also symbolises children of many colours growing and flourishing together on one earth.

Alice and Caroline