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Spanish Flag
Flowers and leaves
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Lantana
Species: L. camara
Binomial name
Lantana camara
L., 1753

Lantana aculeata[1]
Lantana armata

Lantana camara, also known as Spanish Flag or West Indian Lantana, is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family, Verbenaceae, that is native to the American tropics.[2][3][4] Its native range includes Mexico, Central America, the Greater Antilles, The Bahamas, Colombia, and Venezuela.[1] It is believed to be indigenous to the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the United States.[5] Lantana camara has been introduced into other parts of the world as an ornamental plant, it is considered an invasive species in many tropical areas.[6]

It is sometimes known as "Red (Yellow, Wild) Sage", despite its classification in a separate family to sage (Lamiaceae), and a different order to sagebrush (Asterales).



Lantana camara has become naturalized in tropical and warm regions worldwide.[7] In the Kenyan highlands it grows in many areas that receive even minimal amounts of rainfall. It can be seen in the wild and along footpaths, deserted fields, and farms.[8] West Indian Lantana has been naturalized in the United States, particularly in the Atlantic coastal plains, from Florida to Georgia, where the climate is close to its native climate, with high heat and humidity.[3]


West Indian Lantana has become popular in gardens for its hardy nature. It is not affected by pests or disease, has low water requirements, and is tolerant of extreme heat. It is a favorite species of butterflies, and used in butterfly gardens in the United States.[3] Wild species may have short, hooked prickles.[9]

Ecological impact

Flowers of L. camara with white crab spider (Misumenoides formosipes, lower right) in wait for prey.

L. camara is an invasive species and has covered large areas in India, Australia and much of Africa.[10] It colonizes new areas when its seeds are dispersed by birds. Once it reaches an area, L. camara spreads quickly. It coppices so well, that efforts to eradicate it have completely failed. It is resistant to fire, and quickly grows in and colonizes burnt areas.[11] It has become a serious obstacle to the natural regeneration of important native species including the sal tree in Southeast Asia, as well as plants in 22 other countries. In greenhouses, L. camara is notorious for attracting whitefly.[7][12]

While considered a pest in Australia, it shelters several native marsupial species from predators, and offers a habitat for the vulnerable Exoneura native bee, which nests in the hollow stems of the plant.

L. camara has been reported to make animals ill after ingestion.[7]. The berries are edible when ripe[13] though like many fruit are mildly poisonous to humans and livestock if eaten while still green. L. camara has been listed as a Category One "Invasive Toxic Species" in Florida by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, and has become a problem in Texas and Hawaiʻi.[12][3]

Other uses

Some communities have found alternate uses for West Indian Lantana, as it is difficult to eradicate. Some household furniture, such as tables and chairs are made from the stalks, or the small branches are bundled together to make brooms.[8]


Some Lantana cultivars are ornamentals and these tend to have small herbaceous stems.

See also article Lantana.


  1. ^ a b "Lantana camara L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-05-29. Retrieved 2009-10-21.  
  2. ^ Efren and Luisa Gonzalez (2007). "Fill your garden with sunshine" (in English). The Western Sun Newspaper. Retrieved September 19 2007.  
  3. ^ a b c d Floridata LC (2007). "Lantana camara" (in English). Floridata LC. Retrieved September 19 2007.  
  4. ^ Moyhill Publishing (2007). "English vs. Latin Names" (in English). Moyhill Publishing. Retrieved September 19 2007.  
  5. ^ Hagne, Martin (2009-01-01). "Native Lantana Species of the LRGV" (PDF). The Sabal (Native Plant Project) 26 (1): 3.  
  6. ^ New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (2007). "Lantana - fact sheet" (in English). Department of Environment and Climate Change - NSW. Retrieved September 19 2007.  
  7. ^ a b c Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (2005). "Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council: Lantana camanara" (in English) (PDF). Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Retrieved September 19 2007.  
  8. ^ a b Khanna, L. S.; Prakash, R. (1983). Theory and Practice of silvicultural Systems. International Book Distributions. pp. 400 pages.  
  9. ^ "Lantana camara on" (in English). 2009. Retrieved October 29, 2009.  
  10. ^ ISSG database: Lantana camara (accessed 30 April 2009)
  11. ^ Hiremath, Ankila; Bharath Sundram. (2005). The Fire-Lantana Cycle Hypothesis in Indian Forests. Conservation and Society.  
  12. ^ a b Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (2005). "Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council: List of Invasive Species" (in English). Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Retrieved September 19 2007.  
  13. ^ Herzog et al. (1996), Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge & Libreros Ferla (2000), TAMREC (2000)

External links



Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Lantana camara


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids I
Ordo: Lamiales
Familia: Verbenaceae
Genus: Lantana
Species: L. camara


Lantana camara L.


  • Species Plantarum 2:627. 1753

Vernacular names

Bân-lâm-gú: Má-eng-ta
Deutsch: Wandelröschen
Nederlands: Verkleurbloem
Tagalog: Kantutay; coronitas
中文: 馬櫻丹
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Lantana camara on Wikimedia Commons.

Simple English

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Lantana

Lantana camara shrub verbena or Spanish flag is hairy shrub native from tropical America. It is regarded as a notorious weed[1] ,[2] and popular ornamental garden plant in many parts of the world.

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