Lantana camara L.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Last updated: 3 March 2017

Scientific Name

Lantana camara L.


Camara vulgaris Benth., Lantana annua C.B.Clarke [Invalid], Lantana antillana Raf., Lantana asperata Vis., Lantana coccinea Lodd. ex G.Don [Invalid], Lantana crocea Jacq., Lantana glandulosissima Hayek, Lantana mixta Medik., Lantana moritziana Otto & A.Dietr., Lantana sanguinea Medik., Lantana suaveolens Desf. [Illegitimate], Lantana undulata Raf., Lantana urticifolia Mill., Lantana viburnoides Blanco [Illegitimate]. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Bunga pagar, bunga tahi ayam, jebat harimau [2]; misi, tahi ayam [3]
English Sage, wild sage [2]; banana tea, big leaf sage, big sage, black sage, bunch-berry, cherry-pie, common lantana, curse of India, English sage-brush, Indian lantana, Jamaica mountain sage, krooman papaw, red bush bush, red sage, tick berry, wild lantana, yellow sage [3]
China Ma ying dan, wu se mei [3]
India Aingtong, amprimo, aripu, bara phulanoo, bekkinuchhe gida, gabbu seeki, handaranga hoo, chittharangi, ghaneri, hlingpang-par, jingini, kadugulabi, jaikoli, lailumri, mullu parale, namthi lei, nongban lei, phul lakri,putus, unnicceti, vellaparale [3]
Indonesia Kembang telek, tembelekan, saliara [2]; tahi ayam, tai ayam, tjenté [3]
Thailand Kaam kung, khee kae, yeesun [2]
Philippines Koronitas, kantutay, baho-baho [2]; albahaca de caballo, baho-baho, bahug bahay, bahug-bahug, boho-boho, cinco negritos, coronitas, kantutai, kantutay, koronitas, lantana, sapinit [3]
Vietnam C[aa]y tr[aa]m [oor]I, c[aa]y b[oo]ng [oor]I, c[aa]y t[uws] qu[is] [2]
Japan Rantana, shichi-henge [3]
Africa Abelwinyo, akayuukiyuuki, lantana, magwagwa, mukigi, omuhuuki, omushekyera [East Africa] [3]
France Sauge de montagne [3]
Hawaii Lakana, la’au kalakala, lanakana, mikinolia hihiu,mikinolia hohono, mikinolia kuku [3]
South and Central America Alantana, alfombrila hedionda, aya machana, bubita negra, camará, camará de espinho, cariaquillo, cariaquita, encarnado, carnica, cosmida de palomas, confite, corona del sol, filigrana, flor de duende, sanguinaria, lauraimana, palabra de cavallero, peonia negra, santo negrito, venturosa, zoritto [3]

Geographical Distributions

This shrub is native to tropical America, but introduced and naturalised throughout the tropics and subtropics hedges. [2]

Botanical Description

L. camara is a member of the family Verbenaceae. This is an erect or slightly climbing much-branched shrub, up to 5 m tall. Its stems are square or 3-angled, often bearing hooked prickles, and highly aromatic. [2]

The leaves are opposite or rarely in whorls of 3, egg-shaped to oblong-ovate, 5-8 cm x 3-5.5 cm. The stalk is 1.5-3 cm long. [2]

The inflorescence is flat or hemispherical and slightly headed. [2]

The flowers have petal tube extending to 12 mm long during pollination, often slightly curved, orange-yellow or orange to pink, white, or variegated, changing to red or scarlet. [2]

Its fruit is a spherical glossy drupe, deep blue when ripe. [2]


L. camara occurs from sea-level to 1700 m altitude in relatively open and disturbed, not too moist habitats. It is mainly a weed of plantation crops and pastures. Due to the toxicity of its leaves and seeds, it is a serious threat to sheep and cattle. [2]

Chemical Constituent

L. camara have been reported to contain 3,7,11-trimethyl-1,6,10-dodecatriene, β-caryophyllene, zingiberene, γ-curcumene and α-humulene, β-phellandrene, sylvestrene, sabinene, α-ocimene, cis-3-hexenol, 3-octanol, 1-octene-3-ol, α-copaene, linalool, linalyl acetate, α-humulene, 7,11-dimethyl-3-methylene-1,6,10-dodecatriene, germacrene-D, epi-cubebol, murrolol, caryophyllene oxide, longipinanol, α-bisabolol, humulene epoxide II. [4]

Plant Part Used

Roots, leaves and flowers. [2]

Traditional Use

In South-East Asia the leaves (and sometimes the wet, ground roots) are applied to cuts, ulcers, swellings and to treat rheumatism, a decoction of the leaves and flowers is used to treat constipation, as a febrifuge, diaphoretic and stimulant, and to relieve catarrh and bronchitis. A decoction of the roots is used to treat toothache, headache, inflammation, gonorrhoea and leucorrhoea. L. camara is used as an ornamental and in hedges. [2]

Preclinical Data


No documentation


No documentation

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

Toxic parts

Whole plant [5]. It is believed that both unripe and ripe fruits can be lethal [6].


The leaves contain toxic principle, lantadenes A and B, which cause acute photosensitization, jaundice, kidney and liver lesions. A steroid, lancamarone is cardiocative and fish poison. [5]

Lantadenes are slowly absorbed in the small intestine and this prolonged, continuous, and low-level absorption provides the continuing source of the toxins to cause significant damage to the liver tissue. Lantadenes are metabolised in the liver and excreted in the bile causing damage to bile canalicular membranes and microvilli (cholangitis). This results in obstruction and blockage to bile flow. There is also hepatocyte damage and irritation to alimentary tract mucosa causing malaena or black diarrhoea. Death is occured due to liver and kidney injury together with dehydration and electrolyte imbalance and metabolic acidosis. [7]

Risk management

There is not much risk of the plant causing poisoning to humans due to the unpleasant odour the plant emits. However, children are always at risk of consuming the ripened fruits. There have been reports of lethal poisoning due to consuming the unripe, green fruit by children. [6][7]

Poisonous clinical findings

L. camara intoxication is not as common in humans as in animals from ingestion of the leaves. This is probably because the plants have an overpoweringly unpleasant odour when individuals are in close associated with them. Human exposure is usually via herbal products. However, ingestion of green unripe fruits by children may produce within a few hours weakness, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, laboured respiration, and mydriasis. In most cases, the signs will be mild to moderate, and recovery will be uncomplicated. The leaves are rough and may have an irritant effect on the skin. [7]

Symptoms of poisoning due to ingestion of leaves in livestock include loss of appetite, frequent urination, dehydration and yellowing of the inner mouth and eyes as liver functions are disturbed, hair loss from the skin, the mouth and eyes swell and ulcerate, and the animal may dies within one to four weeks. [8]


Treatment is mainly conservative and may include gastric lavage and general supportive care in the form of fluids, glucose and electrolytes IV. Sodium thiosulphate 0.5 g/kg body weight. IV has been suggested as an antidote. [7]

Even though symptoms may be delayed following ingestion of unripe fruits, treatment should begin as soon as possible. Prompt treatment is an important factor in preventing death. The treatment includes gastric lavage. [6]

Line drawing




Figure 1: The line drawing of L. camara [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Lantana camara L. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013. [updated 2012 Mar 26; 2017 Mar 3]. Available from:
  2. Windadri FI, van Valkenburg JLCH. Lantana camara L.In: de Padua LS, Bunyapraphatsara N, Lemmens RHMJ (Editors). Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 1999; p. 341-342
  3. CRC p. 706-708
  4. Kurande NP, Jaitak V, Kaul VK, Sharma OP. Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of essential oils of Lantana camara, Ageratum houstonianum and Eupatorium adenophorum. Pharm Biol. 2010;48(5):539-544.
  5. Khare CP. Indian medicinal plants: An illustrated dictionary. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2007; p. 362.
  6. Tull D. Edible and useful plants of Texas and the Southwest: A practical guide. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003; p. 183-184.
  7. Burrows GE, Tyrl RJ. Toxic plants of North America. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2012; p. 1204-1205.
  8. Labrada R, Caseley JC, Parker C. Weed management for developing countries. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organisation, 1994; p. 105.