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Lantana

(Lantana Camara) A weed of national significance, Lantana was brought here in the early – mid 1800s as an ornamental plant from its native tropical Americas and is now widespread in tropical, sub-tropical and warm temperate areas, where it smothers native flora. It is still grown in southern gardens, where it does not become rampant. Lantana is a variable and sprawling, thicket-forming shrub growing to 5m high and several metres wide and is capable of climbing to 15m high over native trees and shrubs. Its small flowers, in terminal heads, may be yellow, orange, red, pink, purple or white or a combination of all of them. Its leaves emit an unpleasant odour when crushed. It is spread mainly by bird-dispersed seeds but also spreads vegetatively – stem sections or roots touching the soil will form new plants.

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