Lantana is a heavily-branched, scrambling, thicket-forming shrub, usually ranging from 2–4 m in height. Creeping lantana is a scrambling, low, woody shrub which often grows over rocks and along tree branches.

Lantana is a perennial, summer-growing, erect or scrambling shrub, growing up to four metres high and often forming dense thickets. Flesh of the plant produces a strong, aromatic odour when crushed. The plant is a member of the Verbenaceae (verbena) family. Lantana is characterised by square-shaped stems with short, curved and hooked prickles.