Weed of the Week: Lantana

Name: Lantana

Scientific name: Lantana camara

How to identify the weed: Lantana is a shrub that forms dense thickets.  The branches have small prickles with hairy opposite leaves that average around 6cm in length and when crushed produce a distinct odour.  Flowers which are present for most of the year form clusters around 2.5cm in diameter.  The colour can vary from pale cream to yellow, white, pink, orange to red.  The fruit appears green and turns black when ripe. It is extremely common on small acreage and on larger rural  properties.

Why is the weed a problem: This plant has serious environmental impacts. It outcompetes native vegetation, taking away the natural food and habitat for many native species. It is mainly spread by people, birds and other animals like foxes. It is also a major problem to rural producers as it has the ability to poison stock.

How to manage the weed: An integrated approach to the control of this weed gives the best results and varies according to size, density and location of the infestation. Generally, it is best to start with smaller infestations first. Large infestations of Lantana can be mechanically controlled by repeat slashing, grubbing, stick raking or ploughing and by using appropriate fire regimes. Biological control agents have been introduced for the treatment of Lantana but cannot be solely relied upon to manage this plant. There are also a number of registered herbicides available for use. Lantana can be habitat for some of our small native animals, so before removal it is important to take their needs into consideration. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.

Any other interesting facts: Lantana is listed as a Weed of National Significance (WoNS) due to its invasiveness, potential for spread and environmental, social and economic impacts.

Lantana camara

Lantana camara