Lantana

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Distribution Map
Lantana.

Present over much of the Eastern seaboard, with the potential to spread into the tropics, lantana, like bitou, is rated a Weed of National Significance.

An estimated 4 million hectares are infested with this plant.

Find out more about lantana below.


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A lantana thicket.
Lantana History.

Lantana is a shrub native to Central and South America.

Lantana was first recorded in Australia in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens in 1841. By the 1860s it was reported as a weed in both Sydney and in Brisbane, and within 20 years later it had spread along the east coast of the country. By the 1950s it had expanded to cover over more than 1600km of the coast, or some 4 million hectares.

But in spite of its weed status, a few specimens are still located in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne - not to mention countless suburban gardens.


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Lantana image
Lantana facts.

Botanical Species "Lantana Camara"

A perennial with a serrated leaf, prickly stem, and distinctive unpleasant smell, lantana creates scrambling thickets among other plants. In warm humid climates it will fruit and flower continuously. Clusters of black seeds are spread by birds and foxes, and the plants will also layer.

The plant is poisonous to stock.

Different lantana species interbreed. This is a problem because garden varieties cross-pollinate with wild weedy species to create new forms. There are about thirty of these - and they vary not only in their flower types but in their suceptibility to poisons and predators, meaning that control measures suitable in one area may be of limited use in another.

See a video about Lantana here.