Lantana is growing, growing, growing . . .

14 Apr

Are we just going to let it grow forever, taking over the native flora? Or who is going to eradicate it now or keep it in check?

8 Responses to “Lantana is growing, growing, growing . . .”

  1. gerard oosterman April 14, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    The pictures of lantana look enticing, Uta. Some people might wonder what the commotion is about? We know that this plant is very invasive and taking over huge tracts of coastal land. The same for blackberries. On our previous farm it was the blackberry and serrated tussocks that were costing a lot of money.
    The spraying of chemicals gives temporary relief and often pollutes rivers and creeks. Goats are good at eating noxious weeds. Prickly pear was defeated by releasing caterpillars that would destroy it. A biological enemy of lantana might be the answer.

    • auntyuta April 14, 2018 at 3:18 pm #

      Thanks, Gerard. Yes, the flowers can look quite enticing. And yet they can very quickly develop into a pest when escaping ‘domestic cultivation’.

      A few years ago a ‘working bee’ (voluntary workers) had been organized to rid the place of all the lantanas. I wonder whether another working bee could achieve anything now. There just seem to have grown too many of these plants. Maybe even if the working bee consisted of 100 people, they’d have a hard time to get rid of all the lantanas: The left over ones would very quickly multiply again!

      Here is a fact sheet that mentions among other things some control methods:

      http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/pestsweeds/LantanaFactsheet.htm

      And quite interesting is what it says about the history of introducing it to Australia:

      “History
      Lantana (Lantana camara) is a large flowering shrub native to Central and South America that readily grows into thickets. After being brought to Australia as an ornamental garden plant in about 1841, the weed quickly escaped domestic cultivation and within 20 years was established in the wild. Lantana was first declared noxious around 1920 and by the 1950s it had spread over more than 1600 kilometres of the eastern Australian coastline. In 2006, the invasion, establishment and spread of lantana was listed as a Key Threatening Process in Schedule 3 under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.”

  2. gerard oosterman April 14, 2018 at 8:37 pm #

    Pampas grass is another one of those very invasive plants and declared noxious in the Southern table lands. Not long ago it was a very popular plant in the front gardens of many people. It escaped and soon took over.

  3. rangewriter April 15, 2018 at 8:01 am #

    Ha! One person’s invasive is another’s treasure. No, really, I do understand the problem of invasive plants. I had no idea that Lantana was such in Australia. In my climate it is a bit tricky to grow. I’ve tried twice. Failed twice. But, perhaps that is a good thing. We have problems with Fireweed that takes over after forest fires, cheat grass that takes over after prairie fires, and Tamarisk which crowds out native plants along the dry southwest river corridors. All brought into their regions of trouble artificially and with the best intentions.

    • auntyuta April 15, 2018 at 8:34 pm #

      Oh yes, Linda, these invasive plants can look very attractive. It is just too bad if they do become too invasive.

  4. The Emu April 15, 2018 at 7:14 pm #

    Time to get the hedge clippers out Uta, Lantana will be around for quite a while, much like Blackberry bushes.

  5. auntyuta April 15, 2018 at 8:09 pm #

    Hi Ian, thanks for commenting. Actually, this is public council area along a creek. Some ten years ago most of the lantana was taken out by a working bee of volunteers. I can tell you, there is so much more of this weed growing now than there ever has been. For sure it has become an immense task to eradicate all the bushes. I wonder how much it would cost for someone to do it!? I doubt, that another working bee could handle it now. They just left it for too long. AS IT SAYS IN the New South Wales Government’s Fact sheet, by the 1950s it had spread over more than 1600 kilometres of the eastern Australian coastline!

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