Lantana Camara

Tackling the Thorny Issue: A Comprehensive Guide to Identifying and Removing Lantana (Lantana Camara)

Lantana Camara, commonly known simply as Lantana, is a flowering shrub that originated from Central and South America. It has made its way into the Nambucca Valley, wreaking havoc on native ecosystems. This hardy and adaptive plant has become a significant problem, affecting both biodiversity and local agriculture.

Identification Guide

Key Features:

  • Vibrant coloured flowers, usually pink, yellow, or orange
  • Opposite leaves that are rough to the touch
  • A strong, pungent smell when leaves are crushed


  • May be confused with some native shrubs; however, the strong smell when leaves are crushed is a good distinguishing feature.


Lantana prefers open woodlands, pastures, and even disturbed sites such as roadsides. It's adaptable and can thrive in a range of soil types.

Impact on Local Ecosystem

  • Flora: Displaces native plants by forming dense thickets
  • Fauna: Toxic to livestock when consumed
  • Economic: High cost for landholders in control and removal efforts

Removal Methods

  • Mechanical: Hand-pulling for small infestations, but be cautious of its thorny stems.
  • Chemical: Herbicides such as glyphosate are effective but may also harm non-target plants.

Safety Precautions

  • Wear heavy-duty gloves to avoid thorns.
  • If using chemical methods, follow all safety guidelines and wear appropriate protective gear.

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