Lantana Presentation

 Lantana camara, also known as Spanish Flag or West Indian
Lantana or LAVA, is a species of flowering plant in the verbena
family, Verbenaceae that is native to American tropics (in parts of
Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and tropical South America) .
It has been introduced into other parts of the world as an ornamental
plant and is considered an invasive species in many tropical and subtropical areas.
 Notably Kenya has suffered other biological invasions in the past and
Lantana camara was first introduced in the 1950s in the East African
region and has had detrimental effects on the native biodiversity.
•Lantana camara is a low, erect or subscandent, vigorous shrub which can grow to 2 - 4 meters in
•The leaf is ovate or ovate oblong, 2 - 10 cm long and 2 - 6 cm wide, arranged in opposite pairs.
Leaves are bright green, rough, finely hairy, with serrate margins and emit a
pungent odour
when crushed.
•The stem in cultivated varieties is often non- thorny and in weedy varieties with recurved
prickles. It is woody, square in cross section, hairy when young, cylindrical and up to 15 cm thick
as it grows older.
•Lantana is able to climb to 15 m with the support of other vegetation.
•Flower heads contain 20 - 40 flowers, usually 2.5 cm across; the colour varies from white, cream
or yellow to orange pink, purple and red.
•The fruit is a greenish blue-black colour, 5 - 7 mm in diameter, drupaceous, shining, with two
nutlets. Mature plants produce up to 12,000 seeds annually. Seed germination occurs when
sufficient moisture is present; germination is reduced by low light conditions.
•The root system is very strong with a main taproot and a mat of many shallow side roots. Seed
Lantana camara habit
Lantana pictures from Ngong Forest
•Fruit dispersal is through frugivorous birds and rodents.
•Germination rate of fresh seed is generally low, but the germinability gets improved when
the seed passes through the digestive system of birds and animals.
•High light intensity and soil temperature will stimulate germination of seeds which
means that clearing of forest areas, inappropriate burning and other disturbances will
help spread of the weed.
•Seeds are capable of surviving the hottest fire.
•The plant has diverse and broad geographical distribution
which is reflected by its wide ecological tolerance whereby
it can occur in diverse habitats and on variety of soils.
• However, it generally grows in open un-shaded
•It doesn't grow at ambient temperatures below 5 degrees
Celsius. The plant is found at altitudes from sea level to
2,000 m and can thrive very well under rainfall ranging
from 750 to 5000 mm per annum.
•Lantana usually does not invade intact rain forests, but is
found on their margins. Where natural forests have been
disturbed through logging creating gaps, Lantana
encroaches in the gaps. Further logging aggravates the
condition and allows lantana to spread or become thicker
in its growth.
Its leaves and flowers contain toxins, Lantadene A and B, and so it cannot be eaten by
Its puts out chemicals that inhibits/stunts the growth of other plants (allelopathic
effect), and out-competes all other plants.
Each plant puts out up to 12,000 seeds and each seed can remain dormant up to 11
years, and will germinate faster if exposed to smoke (from forest fires). They also
germinate better if passed through the digestion tract of birds.
If cut down, it puts out new shoots, which grow faster than before, and form dense,
impenetrable thickets.
If the roots are dug up, then many dormant seeds, when exposed in the disturbed
soil, all germinate, increasing the density of lantana in the area.
Lantana threatens natural habitats and native flora and fauna.
As the density of Lantana increases in a forested area, the species richness decreases.
The soil has a lower capacity to absorb water in dense stands of lantana than in grass
cover, increasing run-off and therefore soil erosion. The plant, however, may reduce
erosion in mountainous areas not previously covered by grass
In Kenya it is mainly used as firewood especially in the rural areas
that depend on wood as a source of energy.
It is also planted as a hedge to keep away intruders.
Studies have been done on the use of repellent plants and plant
products against the main malaria vectors in eastern Africa.(Abebe,
AkliluSeyoum (2003) PhD student Kenyatta University, Kenya). The
study showed that Lantana camara among other plants represents a
sustainable and readily applicable malaria vector control tool for
incorporation into integrated vector management programs. Also
tested in Western Kenya where they use both thermal expulsion and
direct burning methods.
Ornamental from its colourful flowers.
Wasted and unusable pieces, along with other biomass can be burned
to form charcoal. This can be mixed with manure and buried as
biochar, greatly improving soil fertility and productivity. It is also a way
of sequestering carbon, and a small step in the direction of combating
climate change and global warming.
Shola Trust in India in collaboration with other organizations has
launched an initiative to help local indigenous people use the weed
to make furniture. Their traditional artistic skills are used in
modern context to generate income.
Some of furnitures made using Lantana camara in India
Thank you!!!