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Economic Botany

, 48:259 | Cite as

Lantana, or red sage (Lantana camara L., [Verbenaceae]), notorious weed and popular garden flower; some cases of poisoning in Florida

  • Julia F. Morton
Article

Abstract

Lantana, or red sage (lantana camara, Verbenaceae) is an aromatic shrub with rough, opposite or whorled leaves and four-angled, prickly or smooth stems, showy heads of small flowers (usually pink-and-yellow changing to red-and-orange) and dark-blue or blackish fruits. Native from tropical America north to lower Texas and southern Georgia, the bird-distributed plant has become naturalized in the Caribbean area, the Pacific islands, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and southern Asia. Hundreds of cultivars are grown as ornamentals in temperate climates. In warm regions, L. camara is a pest in farms, pastures and forests, providing breeding places for diseases, detrimental animals and insects, including the tsetse fly. Of 29 named races in Australia, 19 are toxic or gravely pestiferous. Active principles are the triterpenes lantadene A and B. Ingestion of 340-453 g of leaves causes liver and kidney damage, photosensitization, intestinal hemorrhage, paralysis of the gall bladder, and death in 1-4 days in horses, cattle and sheep (not goats). Ripe fruits are edible, but green, unripe fruits have caused illness and one known fatality in children in Florida. Leaves and roots are popular folk remedies. Stems are used as toothbrushes, and the leaves for polishing wood. Prickly races are grown as protective hedges around forest dwellings.

Key Words

lantana red sage lantadene A and B liver damage photosensitization pink-nose 

Lantana o salvia roja (Lantana camara), flor de jardín variable y extendida, hierba tóxica

Résumé

La lantana o salvia roja (Lantana camara- Verbenaceae-) es un arbusto aromático con ásperas hojas, opuestas y en forma de vertilicio, con tallos espinosos o suaves, vistosos grupos de pequeñas flores (generalmente de color rosado y amarillento que cambian a rojo y anaranjado), y frutos de azul oscuro o negruzcos. Es originaria de a América tropical hasta la parte baja de Tejas y el sur de Georgia, pew ha sido distribuida por los pájaros y ostros aves y sen ha aclimatado en el area del Caribe, las islas del Pacífico, Australia, Nueva Zelandia, Africa del Sur y sur de Asia. En climas templados se cultivan cientos de variedades que se utilizan como adornos. En regiones cálidas, L. camara es una plaga para las granjas, los pastizales y los bosques proporcionando lugares adecuados para e desarrollo de enfermedades, animates dañinos e insectos, incluyendo la mosca tse-tsé. De un total de 29 especies conocidas en Australia, 19 son tóxicas o extremanente nocivas. Sus agetes activos son el triperpenes lantadene A y B. La ingestión de 3/4 de libra de hojas produce daños a hígado y al riñón, fotosensibilidad, hemorragia intestinal, parálisis de la vesícula biliary la muerte en unperiodo de 1 a 4 días en caballos, ganado vacunoyovino (aunque no en el caprino). Los frutas maduras son comestibles, pero los verdes o sin madurar han sido causa de enfermedad y de un caso conocido de muerte infantil en Florida. Las hojas y las raíces son tradicionalmente remedios populares. Los tallos se utilizan como cepillos de dientes y las hojas para pulir la madera. La variedad espinosa se utiliza como cercado protector (de hasta 2 m o mas) alrededor de viviendas forest ales.

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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia F. Morton
    • 1
  1. 1.Morton CollectaneaUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesFL

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