A native plant in North America and Latin America, and found widely in warmer climates from North Carolina to Florida and west to California. It also occurs in Hawaii and the West Indies, and south in much of Latin America. It is a common ornamental plant and is spread easily by commerce.
Lantana is a perennial shrub, with extensive branching and a thick, bushy habit to as high as 6 feet. The plants escape cultivation and grow in many moist to dry locations, crowding out other vegetation as it forms dense stands. Reproduction is from seeds, but broken stems easily take root. When the foliage is crushed it emits a strong, unpleasant odor. The flowers are a favored nectar source for insects.
Stems have a thorny, prickly quality to them, and while they are woody they are thin and brittle, and easily broken. The leaves are heart-shaped to oval, with scalloped margins, pointed tips, and very rough or wrinkled surfaces. The abundant flower clusters are compact heads of over a dozen flowers, with colors varying from pink to orange to yellow to white or red.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Plants can be killed with a systemic herbicide, and dead plants may need to be physically removed.