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Leonotis leonurus

   (Family: Lamiaceae)
Afrikaans: Wildedagga, Duiwelstabak English: Wild Dagga, Lion's Ear Xhosa: Imvovo  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 2 - 3m
Spread: 1m
Special properties:
  Frost Tolerant (heavy)
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Summer
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Biome: Grassland
Flowering time EDIT
    x x x              
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Attracts birds, bees and butterflies
  Flower info
  The wild dagga flowers profusely in autumn with its characteristic bright orange flowers carried in compact clusters in whorls along the flower stalk. Apricot and creamy white flowered forms are also found.
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf margin
Leaf texture Rough
  Leaf info EDIT
  The leaves are long, narrow, rough above, velvety below, with serrate edges.
  Seed info EDIT
Description EDIT
A robust shrub which grows up to 2-3m tall and 1.5m wide.
This is an excellent plant for attracting wildlife to your garden as the flowers profuse copious nectar which attracts birds, bees and butterflies.
Growing EDIT
Fast growing and frost hardy.
Water well in summer but does not require much water in the winter months.
It is very easy to grow but will do best in well drained loamy soils with plenty of compost added. Plants should be cut right back at the end of winter. Propagate from seed, cuttings or by dividing up large clumps.
Distribution EDIT
It is common and widespread throughout South Africa and grows amongst rocks in grassland.
History EDIT
The wild dagga is widely used in traditional medicine to treat fevers, headaches, coughs, dysentery and many other conditions. It is also used as a remedy for snake bite and as a charm to keep snakes away.
Ecology EDIT
In its native habitats Leonotis leonurus attracts nectivorous birds (mainly sunbirds), as well as various insects such as butterflies. The flowers' mainly orange to orange-red colour and tubular shape are indicative of its co-evolution with African sunbirds, which have curved bills suited to feeding from tubular flowers.
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