Lantana camara (Lantana)
Species: L. camara
Binomial name: Lantana camara
Common name: Lantana, Spanish Flag or West Indian Lantana.
The drupes of this plant is poisonous.
Lantana camara is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family, Verbenaceae and is native to the American tropics. It has been introduced into other parts of the world as an ornamental plant and is now considered an invasive species in many tropical and sub-tropical areas including New Zealand were it is listed in the National Pest Plant Accord. L. camara has invaded large areas in India, Australia and much of Africa. It colonizes new areas when its seeds, as these are dispersed by birds especially silver eyes.The plant is a branched, pleasant-smelling, hairy, somewhat prickly perennial shrub up to 3 m tall. It’s small, tubular flowers up to 1 cm in diameter and is in dense inflorescences on slender stalks up to 10 cm long in the leaf axils. They are of variable colour, usually changing from cream or yellow to pink, purplish-pink to rose.
The juicy round drupes (berries) about 5 mm in diameter are poisonous. The drupes are initially green, ripening to deep purple or black. Leaves are in opposite pairs, crinkled, with rough hairs on the upper surface, soft hairy underneath. They are bluntly-toothed, egg-shaped or heart-shaped, up to 13 cm long by 7 cm wide, on stalks up to 2 cm long. The stems are square, with a pithy core. Erect to spreading or scrambling, usually with curved-back prickles. Found on road-sides and waste places in warm districts.