Alien Invasives

Lantana (Lantana camara)


07 October 2016

Lantana (Lantana camara)

>Lantana is a vigorous, spreading shrub or untidy scrambler growing up to 2 metres or higher. Stems usually covered with short, stiff hairs and recurved thorns. Leaves are dark green, rough, hairy and paler below. The leaves give off a strong odour when crushed. Pink, red, crimson, orange, yellow or white flowers appear from September to April. Often several colours appear on the same compact, flat-topped flower head. FLowers are followed by glossy green fruits which turn purplish-black and are toxic.

Other names
Bird’s brandy; cherry pie; tick-berry (English)
gewone lantana; gomdagga (Afrikaans)
ubukhwebezane (isiZulu)
sumba (Shona)
ubutywala bentaka (isiXhosa)
Invasive status
NEMBA Category 1b
CARA 2002 Category 1

Originally from
Central and South America
Where is it a problem?
Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West
How does it spread?
Seed dispersal
Why is it a problem?
Competes with and replaces indigenous species. Allelopathic suppression of indigenous species interrupts regeneration processes and reduces biodiversity of natural ecosystems. Dense stands in plantations obstruct access and utilization. Poisonous to humans and animals and responsible for livestock mortalities amounting to millions of Rands every year in South Africa. Reduces the grazing potential of the land.
Planting alternatives
Natal Bauhinia (Bauhinia natalensis), September Bush (Polygala myrtifolia), Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata), Pink Sage (Orthosiphon labiatus), Wild Pomegranate (Burchellia bubalina)
Ornamental and hedging

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