This is a perennial heavily-branched shrub that can grow as compact clumps, dense
thickets or as scrambling and climbing vines. It grows to three metres, with a spread
of four metres. There are small thorns on the branches.
Leaves grow opposite each other on the stem and are about six centimetres long.
They are bright green above, paler beneath and have rounded toothed edges.
When crushed the leaves produce a distinctive odour.
Flower colour can be red or pink to yellow-white or orange. They are two and a
half centimetres wide and are found in symmetric clusters. It flowers all year round.
Fruit are glossy, rounded and purplish-black in colour when ripe.
Habitat it occurs in coastal and sub-coastal areas and grows in many habitats, from
exposed dry hillsides to wet, heavily shaded gullies.
Weed characteristics Lantana varieties are poisonous to stock. It will colonise any
soil and forms dense impenetrable thickets that smother native vegetation.
Dispersal it is spread mostly by people and fruit-eating birds.
How to act
It is preferable to use chemical control on regrowth after slashing. Foliar spraying, including use of splatter guns, is effective in controlling lantana. A broad range of herbicides are approved for use on lantana. A hot fire will also help to control large infestations by allowing access and controlling seed germination. Mechanical clearing can be used to clear the initial infestation if it is large enough but followup treatments must be conducted. Isolated plants can be removed by hand with ongoing monitoring for regrowth necessary. There are a number of biological control agents that reduce growth rates reducing spread however these do not kill the plant.
Refer to Weed Control Methods.
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