Leonotis Leonurus – commonly known as Lions Tail, Lion’s Ear and Wild Dagga – is a plant species in the mint family that makes a very ornate addition to your garden with it’s fuzzy lion-coloured tails with other varieties having tails of white, cream, or yellow.
An excellent plant for attracting wildlife into your garden as the flowers produce copious amounts of nectar attracting birds, bees and butterflies.
A broadleaf evergreen large shrub it will grow to a height of 2-3m, with a spread of 0.7m with bright orange flowers blooming profusely in autumn.
Plant in full sun, with an application of organic fertiliser applied at the beginning of the new season, along with a thick layer of organic mulch to stimulate vigorous growth.
Stems are brittle and can easily break in strong winds. Plant care is minimal, being fairly drought tolerant, benefitting from occasional watering during hot, dry weather. Do not overwater. Cut right down at the end of winter.
Sow seeds in Spring to early Summer, which will germinate in 2-3 weeks into large and sturdy seedlings that can be planted out after all frost has passed.
Plants grow rapidly, unfolding tall spires of aromatic foliage to support flower upon flower.
To propogate harvest the seeds by manually taking apart or shaking the spiky seed heads, once they are completely dried out, to dislodge the many small stick-shaped seeds.
Or, using a spade, lift a clump, divide, and chop away the older less vigorous looking sections. Re-plant newer, healthier-looking portions immediately into a well-prepared bed and water thoroughly.
Leaves are edible, being highly aromatic when crushed and have a strong herby scent.
It’s powerful medicinal properties have been used for medicinal purposes including: asthma, cardiac problems, cough, epilepsy, leprosy, snakebite, skin diseases and parasites, headaches, fever, haemorrhoids and dysentery.