Lantana (Lantana camara) is a perennial herbaceous plant and shrub with showy flowers that change color as they mature. In Australia, L. camara is one of the most damaging invasive weed species due to it forming dense thickets, which kill off native species.
Lantana Toxic Components
All parts of L. camara are considered to be toxic, with the red-flowered forms being the most dangerous. L. camara contains pentacyclic triterpenoids which are damaging to the liver when ingested by birds. L. camara also causes photosensitization through cholestasis, effectively preventing the elimination of phylloerythrin through the bile, and thereby causing photosensitization.
Signs of Lantana Poisoning
Early symptoms of poisoning by L. camara include depression, loss of appetite, increased thirst, and constipation. Photosensitivity is usually followed by death, typically occurring 1–4 weeks after the appearance of symptoms. Death is ultimately caused by liver insufficiency, kidney failure and possibly myocardial damage.
- loss of appetite
- frequent urination
- inflamed eyes
- ocular discharge
MANUAL CONTROL: Hand grubbing, hand cutting and hand pulling is effective for small infestations or scattered plants over large areas.
MECHANICAL CONTROL: Mechanical control is effective for control of mature lantana infestations which over a large area. Bulldozing or slashing plants followed by herbicide control of seedlings and replacing with pasture or other vegetation cover.
FIRE CONTROL: Fire is effective to reduce the height and density of lantana thickets, however it rarely kills the plants, as they recover quickly.
CHEMICAL CONTROL: Control with herbicides is the most practical and effective method however it is also the most costly. Pink lantana are better controlled with herbicides then other colored-plants.