Lantana Perennials: Weeds With Cute Flowers

Lantana camara is a perennial weed that have lovely flowers. That is why it is also grown in gardens. Lantana is a much-branched, upright, curving, or clambering shrub that typically expands 2-4 m high and forms thick thickets. This perennial can sometimes expand like a vine if offered support by various other vegetation, in which situation it can grow a height of up to 15 m.

From its native land South America, it has spread out to more than 50 nations and has become an invasive weed worldwide. Dutch explorers have taken lantana to Europe to grow there widely, and from there, it was presented to Asia and has ended up being a harmful weed there. This perennial tolerance to environmental stress and has vigorous growth. This invasive perennial weed hinders the native biodiversity by suppressing native plants. Lantana has toxicity to animals. The majority of animals do not eat them, so they are not controlled naturally. By competing for nutrients, this perennial weed can hamper agricultural production.

Picture of a lantana plant with flowers

Lantana habitat

Common Lantana is an indigenous perennial species of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and also tropical South America. This lantana weed is also known as Spanish flag, big-sage in Malaysia, wild-sage in the Caribbean, korsu wiri in Suriname, tickberry in South Africa, putus in Bangladesh and Gu Phool in Assam, India. Lantana belongs to the Verbenaceae family. Lantana is considered to be in the leading 100 of the world’s most invasive plant species. Lantana is very common in eastern Australia, especially in the coastal areas. Likewise, they are commonly naturalized globally, including India, Pacific Islands, Africa, and south-eastern Asia. Lantana loves wet, well-drained, acidic soil but can tolerate drought conditions. But this perennial plant cannot survive long in damp soil.

Lantana stems and leaves

The young stems are square in cross-section and usually green. Lantana stem has a rough surface frequently equipped with brief backward-curved prickles. They can, in some cases, be somewhat hairy. As they develop, the stems turn grey or brown and become rounded. The leaves of this perennial plant have toothed margins and are oppositely set up along the stems. The egg-shaped rough leaf blades are 2-12 cm in length and 1.5-6.5 cm in breadth. The undersides are usually gently hairy.

Lantana flower and fruit

Lantana has dense flower clusters, including various tubular tiny flowers (9-14 mm in length and 4-10 mm in breadth). These flower groups are attached to stalks coming from the leaf forks. Flowers of lantana can be red, orange, pink, yellow, or multi-colored. Though wild lantana is an invasive weed, some variations with cute flowers of this perennial species are very popular for gardens. Mature fruits of lantana are 5-8 mm long. They are glossy in look and black, purplish, or bluish in color.

Is lantana poisonous?

Lantana camara is poisonous weed to animals such as cattle, dogs, horses, goats and cats. Pentacyclic triterpenoids are the active substances of this perennial plant that creats toxicity to animals and cause liver damage as well as photosensitivity. Common lantana also eliminates allelopathic chemicals, which minimize the growth of other plants and inhibit their germination and root prolongation.

Ingesting lantana berries can be poisonous to people. Consumption of the flowers, fruits, and leaves can trigger vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and liver failure, while the leaves can create dermatitis.

Can lantana repel mosquitoes?

Lantana leaves have insecticidal properties. It can be utilized to repel or kill hazardous insects. Lantana extracts have the properties to kill insect larva. Lantana can then be utilized to prevent malaria because of its capability to repel mosquitoes. So, this lovely flowering perennial plant also have some good quality.

A B M Zahidul Hoque

I'm the owner of After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I have joined as a scientist at Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh. I started Weeds in Gardens to make you familiar with different weeds and their positive and negative aspects.

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