|Flowers and leaves|
Lantana aculeata L. Lantana armata
Lantana camara 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. Common names include largeleaf lantana, common lantana, kamara lantana, wild sage, red sage, yellow sage, white sage, and shrub verbena.
Habitat and range
The native range of Lantana camara includes Mexico, parts of the Caribbean, Central America, Venezuela, and Colombia. 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.
L. camara has been reported to make animals ill after ingestion. Its foliage contains pentacyclic triterpenoids that causes 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; and ingestion of unripe berries and other plant parts is not associated with significant human toxicity.
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 by coppicing. It is resistant to fire, and quickly 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 whiteflies. In India it bears fruit year-round.
Some household furniture, such as tables and chairs are made from the stalks, or the small branches are bundled together to make brooms.
A methanolic extract of L. camara has anti-ulcer activity in rats in laboratory studies. Extracts of the fresh leaves are traditionally used in Brazil as antipyretics, carminatives, and treatments for respiratory infections. Verbascoside, an inhibitor of protein kinase C, has been isolated from L. camara.
This is a commonly cultivated ornamental plant. It is not affected by pests or disease, has low water requirements, and is tolerant of extreme heat. It is attractive to butterflies, and is used in butterfly gardens in the United States. The wild species may have short, hooked prickles, but cultivars have been bred with small, herbaceous stems. Cultivars include 'Bandana'.
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|Wikispecies has information related to: Lantana camara|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lantana camara.|
- "Lantana Lantana camara". Weeds of National Significance. Weeds Australia.
- "Lantana Control Tips" (PDF). Weeds of National Significance. Weeds Australia.]
- USDA Forest service brochure
- Invasion of Exotic Weeds in the Natural Forests of Tropical India due to Forest Fire – A Threat to Biodiversity. International Forest Fire News. 2002.