Friday, August 6, 2010

ගඳපාන/රටහිඟුරු[Ganda-Pana/Rata Hinguru] (Lantana camara)

A native shrub of South America (probably West Indies) and now widely distributed throughout the tropic. It was introduced to Sri Lanka in 1926 through the Royal botanical garden as an gardening plant and later on escaped and naturalized at all elevations of the country.  It is very common in wastelands, open areas in jungles, abandoned chena cultivations etc….Now it is considered as an invasive plant and measures are being taken to eradicate or control spreading of this plant specially in national parks such as Udawalawe, Bundala..etc where invading Lantana shrubs greatly reduced grazing lands available for Elephants and other wildlife. However ripe berries of this plant are widely eaten by birds and they act as dispersers of seeds. Also it provides nectar for butterflies.

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