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Lion’s Ear

Leonotis leonurus

  • Common Name: Lion’s Ear (other common names: Wild Dagga, Lions Tail).
  • Scientific Name: Leonotis leonurus
  • Family Name: Lamiaceae
  • Origin: Southern Africa
  • Height: 3’ – 6’
  • Width: 1’ – 3’
  • Growth: It can grow rapidly, up to 3’-6’ tall in a single season.
  • Zone: 8 - 11
  • Light Needs: Full sun – partial shade.
  • Salt Tolerance: Relatively salt-tolerant and is a beautiful addition to a coastal garden.
  • Soil/PH/Texture: They are not particularly picky about soil type, and are grow easy in average, medium, well-drained soils and prefer full sun but will tolerate light shade. neutral (pH 6.6 – 7.5).
  • Soil Moisture: Medium (likes regular moisture).
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderately tolerant, and suitable for xeriscaping.
  • Pests/Diseases: No serious disease or insect problems, only watch for spider mites and whiteflies on over wintering plants.
  • Growing Conditions: Low maintenance, will naturalize.
  • Characteristics: Evergreen, medium-dark green aromatic leaves when crushed, 2”-4” has spines and sharp edges so be careful when handling, it also has square stems that are typical of the mint family. The blooms are tubular, showy, tiered whorls that are 1”-2”, orange/white/scarlet flowers, and bloom summer-fall, and the petals of the flower resemble lion’s ears.
  • Propagation: Stem cuttings or seed (allow seed heads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds).
  • Wildlife: Attracts bees, birds, butterflies and hummingbirds.
  • Facts: Known for its medicinal and mild psychoactive properties, it has an active component marrubiin which has both antioxidant and cardioprotective properties and is known to significantly improve myocardial functions. The infusions made from the flowers and seeds, leaves or stems are used widely to treat jaundice, tuberculosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, muscle cramps, dysentery, viral hepatitis, and diarrhea. The roots, leaves, and bark can be used as an emetic for bee stings, snakebites, and scorpion stings. Can cause skin irritation when handling.
  • Designer Considerations: Used for cut or dried flowers in floral arrangements, accent or screen in gardens and parks, border plant, or grown in 3 gallon containers or larger next to driveways or on patios.​

Lion's Ear