- It is an invasive weed.
- The native range of Lantana camara is Central and South America; however, it has become naturalised in around 60 tropical and sub-tropical countries worldwide.
- It has also colonized areas of Africa, Southern Europe, such as Spain and Portugal, and also the Middle East, India, tropical Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA, as well as many Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean islands
- It is rarely found in natural or semi-natural areas of forest, as it is unable to compete with taller trees due to its lack of tolerance for shade.
- Instead it grows at the forest edge. L. camara can survive in a wide range of climatic conditions, including drought, different soil types, heat, humidity and salt. It is also relatively fire tolerant and can quickly establish itself in recently burnt areas of forest.
- Although L. camara is itself quite resistant to fire, it can change fire patterns in a forest ecosystem by altering the fuel load, causing a buildup of forest fuel, which itself increases the risk of fires spreading to the canopy.
- This can be particularly destructive in dry, arid areas where fire can spread quickly and lead to the loss of large areas of natural ecosystem.