Lantana spinosa Le Cointe
Evergreen shrub with rambling or straggling branches, 1-2(-4) m, tall; branches usually minutely or inconspicuously pubescent, unarmed to conspicuously prickly with hooked spines. Leaves opposite, decussate, ovate to ovate-oblong, (2-) 5-10 (-12) cm long, (1.5-) 2-5 cm broad, crenate-serrate, acute to shortly acuminate, ± rugose, scabrid; petiole 5-10 (-12) mm long. Flowering heads axillary, peduncled, umbellate in flower, shorter to exceeding the subtending leaves, 2-3 cm across. Bracts lanceolate to linear, 5-7 mm broad, acute to subulate, rarely a few larger ones also present. Flowers 5-8 mm across, mostly orange or yellow, turning to red or scarlet later. Calyx 2-3 mm long, thin, pubescent. Corolla-tube 7-10 (-12) mm long, pubescent, slightly enlarged and curved above the middle; limb 4 lobed with spreading, ± rounded lobes. Drupe 3-5 mm in diameter, globose; fleshy, black, shining, 2-seeded.
Fl. Per.: Throughout the year.
Type: Habitat in America calidiore.
Distribution: A native of trop. America, widely introduced and naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions.
Decoction is given in tetanus rheumatism and malaria. Essential oil contains camerene, isocamerane and micranene.
A favourite ornamental of our gardens with highly variable flower colours, stature, indumentum and pricklness. A number of varieties, of indefinite consatancy in flower colour have been recognized by some authors; some of these, seen from the area, are as follows:
1. var. camara : flowers orange-yellow, turning red or scarlet.
1. var. flava (Medic.) Moldenke: flowers yellow.
2. var. rubella Moldenke: flowers pink.
3. var. sanguinea (Medic.) L.H. Bailey: Flowers opening saffron yellow but changing to bright red later.
4. var. aculeate (Linn.) Moldenke: Plants with conspicuous prickles.
5. var. alba Moldenke: Flowers white.
A hybrid, x Lantana callowiana Monrov., very similar to this species, has also been recorded from Karachi University campus nursery, by Saida Qureshi s.n. (KUH).