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Lantana

Botanical name: Lantana spp.
Noxious Weed Category: Class 4
Lantana    Lantana
Photo: Adam Burrowes

Description

Originating from South America, Lantana is a fast growing shrub with brittle climbing and scrambling branches. Can become vine-like and climb into trees. Stems are square with short prickles. Leaves are mid-green, oval, deeply wrinkled and hairy. They are opposite on the stem with distinctive smell when crushed.

Flower heads are flat, 2-3cm across, consisting of many tiny red, pink or yellow tubular flowers, often in combinations. Flowers all year. A cluster of fleshy black berries, fruiting most heavily in summer.

Dispersal

Spread into bushland by birds, and garden dumping. Branches or stems will re-root at ground level, often running along the ground under leaf litter.

Impact on bushland

Agressively invades rich soils in open forest, disturbed rainforest and creeklines. Creates dense shade and heavy leaf litter. Lantana can scramble into understorey of bushland to a height of 3-4m and form dense thickets, with sprawling stems rooting where they touch the ground.

Control Measures

The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that reduces its numbers, spread and incidence and continuously inhibits its reproduction and the plant must not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed.

Control

Manual:

  • Dig out taproot and large surface roots. 
  • Alternatively, cut away top growth, cut all stems as low as possible near base and apply an undiluted glyphosate-based product. 
  • Check that all side shoots are treated, as any rooted stems left may grow.
  • Pile cut material off the ground to dry as thicker stems will take root into damp ground.
  • Scrape and paint exposed surface roots. 
  • Contact your local control authority for advice on control for large infestations.

See Manual Weed Control Techniques.

Chemical: Please contact your local control authority for advice on chemical control.

Similar species

Native shrub, Poison Peach (Trema aspera) may be confused with Lantana. It has tiny insignificant flowers, and alternate leaves, unlike Lantana which has leaves opposite on the stem. Also Poison Peach leaves have no odour when crushed. See the Look-a-likes booklet


Updated: 18 Jul 2016