Wilde Dagga (Leonotus leonurus), packet of 30 seeds

$3.95

Family:  Mint (Lamiaceae)

Hardy to Zones 9 to 12

(Wild dagga, Lion’s Tail, Lion’s Ears, Umunyane) Herbaceous or woody perennial. When growing in colder zones, these can be very late to re-emerge from the woody stumps of the previous year’s growth.  Flowers in the late season on multiple upright stalks, occuring as long-tubed, hairy appendages emerging from the globose, whorled orbs.  Hummingbirds become frenzied around this plant, and I’ve had them fly in through the door of the greenhouse (and risk hitting their little heads) in order to repeatedly visit a single flower that was making an out-of-season display.  Easily one of the showiest medicinals of all time. Native to South Africa and planted in discriminating botanical gardens worldwide. When encountered on garden path, it is a breathtaker.  Traditional usage (South African Tribes: smokeable euphoric, external wash against snakebite, other bites and stings, boils, eczema, skin diseases, itching, and muscular cramps, coughs, colds, influenza, bronchitis, high blood pressure and headaches.  The plant is powerfully endowed with marrubiin and related compounds.  Plant prefers full sun to part shade and regular garden or wayside conditions.  Since the stems can become quite woody, it holds up well to traffic and random abuse.  Well-drained, slightly alkaline soils seem to be the best choice, although almost any soil will work as long as the summer is hot and long.  The plant is quite drought tolerant.  Sow seeds in a flat or pot.  Barely cover, tamp well, keep evenly moist, warm and in the light until germination, which occurs in 1 to 3 weeks.  The seedlings are valuable and so normally not thinned–grow at close spacing for a few weeks until the second set of true leaves has formed, then prick into pots, and then after they grow out a bit more, transplant outdoors to 3 feet apart.  In cold weather areas, you may wish to keep this plant in potted culture.

30 seeds per packet, open pollinated

Reviews

  1. 0 out of 5

    My leonotus are the most eye-catching plants I grow, but be prepared for them to get as high as 15 feet (if you prune a bit they’ll stay shorter). Even before they flower the growth is striking: bright green and very dense, and when the orange flowers appear they’re breathtaking. This is their second season and they came back from the roots even more vigorous than they were in their first year. This was one of the most challenging plants I’ve ever grown from seed — germination was slow and spotty — but even a single plant makes all the effort worthwhile. The medicinal qualities of leonotus are really just the icing on the cake of this amazing plant.

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