Also known as:
Red Flowered Sage, Shrub Verbena, Wild Sage, Yellow Sage
Tropical America

General description

Much-branched, woody, aromatic perennial shrub <3m high. Brittle, sprawling, scrambling stems covered in sharp prickles. Yellow-green to dark green, pungent-smelling leaves, opposite, rough, strongly veined (wrinkled) & serrated. Clusters of yellow, pink, red or orange flowers. Green fruit ripening to a glossy purple-black (summer).

Coastal scrubland, islands, cliffs, consolidated dunes, forest margins, wasteland & plantations. Prefers warm, sunny, moist climates; frost & shade tolerant.

Bird dispersed seeds; spreads locally by suckering from shallow lateral roots.

Forms dense impenetrable thickets, suppressing lower vegetation & affecting regenerating bush. Thorny & restricts movement by stock & humans. Poisonous to stock & a major weed of crops overseas. Serious threat to island habitats.

Site management

Remove small infestations first. Avoid root disturbance if possible when controlling. Check all treated sites for seedlings & suckers. Don’t replant for 2 years after all plants destroyed. Seed longevity usually low. Replant with dense cover & constantly check for new seedlings.

Recommended approaches

1. In rural areas only, report it immediately to the Auckland Council Biosecurity team, who will arrange for its control at their expense.
2.Only dig out if herbicides cannot be used, as roots will resprout.
3. Cut & stump paint all year round (200ml glyphosate/1L).
4. Spray in Nov & Dec (125ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant/10L or 100ml Tordon Gold/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

trailing lantana
Lantana montevidensis

Trailing lantana is low growing or prostrate, has smaller leaves and purple or white flowers, sparingly weedy.

Search tags

RPMS status

Total Control - Rural areas
Surveillance - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
lantana - Main species image