The colourful Lantana shrub (lantana camara), which is found in many urban gardens as well as on other properties in the Mossel Bay municipal area is a declared weed in terms of the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (CARA) and the Mossel Bay Municipality appeals to property owners to eradicate the shrub from their properties.
The plant is a declared Category 1 plant in terms of the Act which states that Category 1 plants “are prohibited plants that will no longer be tolerated on land or on water surfaces, neither in rural nor urban areas. These plants may no longer be planted or propagated, and all trade in their seeds, cuttings or other propagative material is prohibited. They may not be transported or be allowed to disperse. Plants species were included in this list because their harmfulness outweighs any useful properties they might have”.
According to the Act this includes all seed producing species or seed producing hybrids of Lantana that are non-indigenous to Africa. It excludes the creeping, purple-flowered Lantana montevidensis, which does not produce seeds in South Africa.
The berries of the plant, which has been imported from the Americas as an ornamental garden shrub, are eaten by birds. This has resulted in the plant escaping from gardens so that it is now widely distributed in South Africa. The plant is responsible for a high percentage of national stock deaths in South Africa and should be prevented from spreading to agricultural land.
The Municipality appeals to all property owners to co-operate in this regard as any plants that are left on properties will result in the plant continuing to spread to other properties and areas in the municipal district.
In a statement the Municipality says that Lantana can be controlled by manual/mechanical or chemical means. It says that the uprooting of plants may work, but can lead to erosion and is labour intensive as well as costly. Whatever method is used, follow-up is essential.