Home Don't just hike Flora-bad Lantana
Not a normal garden plant ...
The bad group are those trees and plants which have been imported into South Africa and which simply do not know how to behave in our environment. Also known as aliens.
Check out the Department of Agriculture list of aliens.
Link: Department of Agriculture
You probably know Lantana (or more specifically the woody 'Lantana camara', for there are four native herbaceous species that are entirely innocuous). And if you know it, do you HATE it? Or are you like the lady who landscaped her garden and still lovingly tends a Lantana camara as one of its features?
Even though it might be pretty, Lantana is an invasive and illegal alien plant, with dreadful impacts.
Here’s why you should HATE lantana, and not just because it scratches you as you hike along a ‘wilderness’ path which has been invaded by it.
It spreads quickly, because birds like the fruits, but the seeds are not digested, so birds unwittingly distribute them from suburban gardens to the veld. Lantana’s also a vigorous grower, quickly developing into a dense and scratchily impenetrable bush.
Worse still, it’s extremely poisonous, producing an atropine-like toxin called lantodene that affects lungs, heart, kidneys, liver and nervous system. It can cause the skin to become swollen and inflamed, especially around the nose, eyes, lips and ears. A cow that grazes on Lantana can lose all the skin on its head, which peels and pulls away right down to the muscle leaving nothing but raw, weeping agony.
Lantana soon replaces indigenous veld reducing the available browse, and quickly shading out the herbaceous ground cover. This leads to increased runoff and thus soil loss on slopes, with adverse and often irreversible effects on farming and forestry.
NOW do you hate Lantana? If so assist with its eradication.