Lantana camara

Lantana camara (Lantana)





Lantana camara

Common name(s)


Main colour(s)

Small varicoloured flowers in dense clusters


2 – 4m tall


Orpheus Island Research Station


Lantana has been widely cultivated as a garden ornamental in Australia, but is one of the 20 weeds of national significance (WoNS) in Australia and is listed in the global Invasive species database (GISD) as on of the 100 world’s worst invasive species. It is a widespread weed of roadsides, disturbed sites, forest margins and waste areas in sub-tropical and tropical areas.

A many branched erect shrub growing to around 2-4m in height, this plant can be distinguished by its distinctive clusters of dense flowers borne on stalks originating from leaf forks. The flowers are tubular in shape and may be a variety of colours ranging from white, cream, yellow, pink, red or multicoloured. The stems are rough to touch, often armed with backward curved prickles and can sometimes be slightly hairy. The leaves are oppositely arranged along the stem, have toothed margins, a somewhat wrinkled appearance and a rough texture. Mature fruit is glossy in appearance and black or purplish black in appearance. Stem fragments or pieces of rootstock can also give rise to new plants.

Sites where this species can be found at OIRS

This plant has been seen on OIRS since the station was established in 1978 and is thought to have been originally introduced as a house plant whilst Pioneer Bay was occupied as part of a fishing and oyster lease. As a Class 3 declared weed, it is one of the species OIRS is required to control by law and is the primary target of our weed removal program, though it is considered to be under control and nearing eradication level. It can found growing in scattered areas throughout the station but the main infestation is along the track to the point and behind the buildings on the southern end of the station.

Research that has been undertaken at OIRS


2010: Approximately 100kg removed offsite by OIRS volunteers

2011: Approximately 50kg removed offsite by OIRS volunteers

2012: Approximately 100kg removed offsite by OIRS volunteers