Common names: Lantana, Tick-berry (English); Gomdagga, Wilderoosmaryn (Afrikaans); Kap'sche Stachelbeere (German)
Origin: South and Central America
Erect, compact or spreading to clambering, many-branched shrub, up to ± 3 m high. Stem angular, roughly hairy, often with unpleasantly sharp, curved prickles. Leaves opposite, ± ovate, dark green, leathery, puckered due to prominent veins, roughly hairy, strong-smelling when crushed; margins toothed, tips pointed. Flowers small, trumpet shaped, carried in dense clusters near branch tips, vary in colour from yellow to orange or red and mauve or pink to white, often a combination of several of these colours. Fruit carried in clusters of shiny, round berries, each +5 mm across, green becoming purplish-black when ripe, poisonous to mammals but eaten by birds.
Highly invasive, noxious species often cultivated as an ornamental or a hedge. Has already become a problem in the Waterberg, Otavi and Rundu areas, often along watercourses. Seeds are spread by birds that eat the berries. This plant is a common cause of stock poisoning, mainly in cattle, in southern Africa.