|Flowers and leaves|
Lantana aculeata L.
Lantana camara, also known as Spanish Flag or West Indian Lantana or LAVA, is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family, Verbenaceae, that is native to the American tropics. It has been introduced into other parts of the world as an ornamental plant and is considered an invasive species in many tropical and sub-tropical areas.
Habitat and range 
The native range of Lantana camara includes Al-Hasakah, Mexico, Central America, the Greater Antilles, The Bahamas, Colombia, and Venezuela. It is believed to be indigenous to the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the United States. It has become naturalized in tropical and warm regions worldwide. In the Kenyan highlands it grows in many areas that receive even minimal amounts of rainfall. It can be seen in the wild and along footpaths, deserted fields, and farms. West Indian Lantana has been naturalized in the United States, particularly in the Atlantic coastal plains, from Florida to Georgia, where the climate is close to its native climate, with high heat and humidity.
It was introduced into the Philippines from Hawaii through the Makiling Forestry School (now the University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Forestry and Natural Resources), as part of botanical academic exchanges between the United States and the Philippines. It escaped into the wild and has become naturalized in the islands. It is referred to by a number of common names including coronitas ('coronet'), utot-utot ('fart [flower]'), and baho-baho ('smelly [flower]'), the last two referring to its distinctive pungent odor. It has also become a major weed in Sri Lanka after escaping from the Royal Botanic gardens of Sri Lanka in 1926.
West Indian Lantana has been reported to make animals ill after ingestion. The pentacyclic triterpenoids its foliage contains cause hepatotoxicity and photosensitivity in grazing animals such as sheep, goats, bovines, and horses. Livestock foraging on the plant has led to widespread losses in the United States, South Africa, India, Mexico, and Australia. The berries are edible when ripe Ingestion of L. camara (including unripe berries) is not associated with significant human toxicity. Nevertheless, Teuscher, Lindequist states that the symptoms of its poisoning are similar to Atropa belladonna's one.
Ecological impact 
L. camara is an invasive species and has covered large areas in India, Australia and much of Africa. It colonizes new areas when its seeds are dispersed by birds. Once it reaches an area, L. camara spreads quickly. It coppices so well, that efforts to eradicate it have completely failed. It is resistant to fire, and quickly grows in and colonizes burnt areas. It has become a serious obstacle to the natural regeneration of important native species including the Saal Tree (Shorea robusta) in Southeast Asia, as well as plants in 22 other countries. In greenhouses, L. camara is notorious for attracting whitefly. In India they bear fruit all year round and this appears to have an impact on bird communities.
While considered a pest in Australia, it shelters several native marsupial species from predators, and offers a habitat for the vulnerable Exoneura native bee, which nests in the hollow stems of the plant.
Some communities have found alternate uses for West Indian Lantana, as it is difficult to eradicate. Some household furniture, such as tables and chairs are made from the stalks, or the small branches are bundled together to make brooms.
The methanolic extract of Lantana camara leaves shown healing of gastric ulcers and also prevents development of duodenal ulcers in rats. Extracts of the fresh leaves are antibacterial and are traditionally used in Brazil as an antipyretic, carminative and in the treatment of respiratory system infections
West Indian Lantana has become popular in gardens for its hardy nature. It is not affected by pests or disease, has low water requirements, and is tolerant of extreme heat. It is a favorite species of butterflies, and used in butterfly gardens in the United States. Wild species may have short, hooked prickles. Lantana cultivars favored as ornamentals tend to have small herbaceous stems.
Examples of cultivated varieties include 'Bandana'.
See also 
- "Lantana camara L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-05-29. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
- Efren and Luisa Gonzalez (2007). "Fill your garden with sunshine". The Western Sun Newspaper. Retrieved September 19, 2007.[dead link]
- Floridata LC (2007). "Lantana camara". Floridata LC. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
- Moyhill Publishing (2007). "English vs. Latin Names". Moyhill Publishing. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
- New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (2007). "Lantana - fact sheet". Department of Environment and Climate Change - NSW. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
- Hagne, Martin (2009-01-01). "Native Lantana Species of the LRGV" (PDF). The Sabal (Native Plant Project) 26 (1): 3.
- Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (2005). "Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council: Lantana camanara" (PDF). Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
- Khanna, L. S.; Prakash, R. (1983). Theory and Practice of silvicultural Systems. International Book Distributions. pp. 400 pages.
- Forest Invasive Species: Country Report. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- Wellington Z. Rosacia, Arnel N. Achivar, & Marilou B. Avanzado (2004). "Lantana and Hagonoy: Poisonous weeds prominent in rangeland and grassland areas". Research Information Series on Ecosystems (Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, Republic of the Philippines) 16 (2). Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- Barceloux, Donald G. (2008). Medical Toxicology of Natural Substances: Foods, Fungi, Medicinal Herbs, Plants, and Venomous Animals. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 867–868. ISBN 978-0-471-72761-3.
- Burns, Deborah (2001). Storey's Horse-Lover's Encyclopedia: an English & Western A-to-Z Guide. Storey Publishing. p. 302. ISBN 978-1-58017-317-9.
- Herzog et al. (1996), Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge & Libreros Ferla (2000), TAMREC (2000)
- Carstairs, SD, Luk, JY, Tomaszewski, CA, Cantrell, FL (December 2010). "Ingestion of Lantana camara is not associated with significant effects in children". Pediatrics 126 (6): e1585-8. Unknown parameter
- Teuscher, Eberhard; Lindequist, Ulrike (1987). Biogene Gifte. Stuttgart, New York: Gustav Fischer Verlag. ISBN 3-437-30561-1.
- ISSG database: Lantana camara (accessed 30 April 2009)
- Hiremath, Ankila; Bharath Sundram. (2005). The Fire-Lantana Cycle Hypothesis in Indian Forests. Conservation and Society.
- Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (2005). "Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council: List of Invasive Species". Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
- Aravind, NA, Dinesh Rao, KN Ganeshaiah, R Uma Shaanker & JG Poulsens (2010). "Impact of the invasive plant, Lantana camara, on bird assemblages at Malé Mahadeshwara Reserve Forest, South India". Tropical Ecology 51 (2S): 325–338.
- R. Sathisha, , , Bhushan Vyawaharea and K. Natarajanb "Antiulcerogenic activity of Lantana camara leaves on gastric and duodenal ulcers in experimental rats" Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 134, Issue 1, 8 March 2011, Pages 195-197 doi:10.1016/j.jep.2010.11.049 |
- Barreto F, Sousa E, Campos A, Costa J, Rodrigues F.,"Antibacterial Activity of Lantana camara Linn and Lantana montevidensis Brig Extracts from Cariri-Ceará, Brazil. J Young Pharm. 2010 1;2(1):42-44
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