T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Lantana camara var. aculeate (Lantana)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Lantana
Species: L. camara var. aculeate
Binomial name: Lantana camara var. aculeate
Common name: Lantana, Lantana scabrida, Camara vulgaris, Wild sage, Red-flowered sage, Large leaf lantana.

Lantana camara var. aculeate is a dicotyledonous, aromatic, prickly shrub with upright spreading stems that scramble up to 5m in height. It is found mainly in coastal and shrub land areas in northern areas of New Zealand.
It has various colour forms. There is a pink and yellow form and orange and yellow form, both invasive. It will out-compete other more desirable plant species, leading to a reduction in biodiversity. 
L. camara var. aculeate has a woody taproot with laterals that sucker when broken. The hairy, wrinkled, ovate leaves (3-13 x 1.5-7cm) are in opposite pairs. The leaves margins are crenated.
The small tubular flowers are a mixture of colours and are bourn on flat 3 cm flower heads. The colours change as the flower matures.
The shrubs small fruits are first green and on maturing turn to a blue black colour. These fruits have poisoned children and stock. The seeds are spread by birds (especially silvereyes), contaminated soil and garden waste.