Lantana (Lantana camara and Lantana montevidensis) is a shrub that was once grown as garden ornamentals and is now a major weed across all states and territories of Australia. It is one of the country’s most invasive and debilitating weeds due to its effects on primary industries, conservation and the extent of its distribution.


Lantana is a heavily branched, thicket forming shrub that ranges from 2-4m in height. The creeping version is a low woody shrub that grows over rocks and along tree branches. Lantana is easily recognized by its vibrant flours that vary in colour from red-yellow, orange-pink and white depending on the location and plant maturity. Lantana is mostly seen in coastal and sub-tropical areas however it can survive in dry areas as well.


Cattle, sheep, goats and camelids are affected by the plants.
Lantana is not toxic to humans unless berries are ingested.


All variants of lantana are thought to be toxic with the red-flowered forms most toxic to stock. Most cases of lantana poisoning occur when animals are introduced to an area where toxic forms of lantana grows or during droughts when other feed sources are scarce.


Signs of lantana poisoning depend on the type of lantana consumed, how much of it and the intensity of sunlight. Signs include:

  • Depression, loss of appetite
  • Constipation, frequent urination
  • Jaundice (yellow discolouration) of the insides of the eyes, mouth and vulva
  • Drooling and weeping eyes
  • Inflammation/peeling of the un-pigmented skin (e.g. muzzle, white areas on coat, feet)
  • Severely affected animals may have a short period of diarrhoea with black strong smelling faeces
  • Death may take between 2d-3wks depending on the severity



Diagnosis is based on the animal’s access to lantana and clinical signs shown (e.g. jaundice).


Contact your local veterinarian immediately if you suspect an animal is suffering from lantana poisoning. Unless treated quickly and effectively, animals may die within a week of ingesting the plant.

  • Move animal to a lantana free area
  • Place in the shade at all times due to sun sensitivity
  • Provide fresh water and good quality hay at all times
  • Give oral electrolytes or intravenous fluids if animal is severely dehydrated
  • Antibiotics and anti-inflammatories


Follow these key points to prevent your animals from being poisoned by lantana.

  • Treat all lantana as being poisonous
  • Keep your property lantana free – weed control is paramount
  • Ensure stock have adequate feed at all times
  • Never put new/young stock in areas where lantana is present
  • Act quickly if poisoning is suspected – call your vet immediately

This information sheet is not intended as a substitute for a veterinary consultation. It is recommended that a consultation be arranged with a Veterinarian if you have any concerns with your herd’s health.