Lantana, Shrub Verbena
Lantana, Shrub Verbena – Lantana camara
Category 1 Invasive plant
Family – Verbenaceae (Verbena family)
Description – Perennial, Deciduous. Shrub/Vine.
Height up to and over 6 feet with multiple square stems. Similar in appearance to the endemic native Lantana species (Lantana depressa Small), the native has tapered or crenate leaf bases whereas the exotic species has a squared off or truncate leaf base.
Leaves are aromatic when bruised or crushed, small flowers are held in dense flat topped clusters and may be white, pink, lavender, yellow, orange to red in a single cluster, changing color over time.
Fruit is a small green round drupe, turning purple and then blue-black. Poisonous. Long touted as a low maintenance landscape plant, now widespread in various habitats where it has interbred with native lantana species.