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Lion's Ear Leonotis leonurus

Phonetic Spelling
lee-oh-NOH-tis lee-oh-nur-uss
Description

Lions Tail is a semi-evergreen upright shrub in the mint family with a woody base and herbaceous stems.  It boasts very showy rings of bright orange hairy two-lipped tubular flowers that look great in flower arrangements.  Originally from South Africa, this plant is tolerant of extreme heat, drought, and dry soils.  While it can freeze to the ground in the winter it will often resprout from hardened wood in the spring which is why it is often considered a perennial.  Mulching the crown in the winter will help ensure the plant survives.  Prune annually after flowering to maintain a bushy dense shape.

Plant as a screen or let it naturalize in the landscape through self-seeding.  Pollinators love the nectar in this plant and it is often visited by hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.  Deer leave this plant alone.  Propagate by green stem cutting or seeding in the garden before the last frost date.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#container plant#wildlife plant#fragrant leaves#cottage garden#disease resistant#low water use#insect pest tolerant#deer resistant#long bloom time#borders#beds#self-seeding#pollinator plant#late spring flowers#mid-summer flowers#nectar plant fall#nectar plant spring#early summer flowers#late summer flowers#border back#border middle#patio planting#flowers early fall#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#late fall flowers
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#container plant#wildlife plant#fragrant leaves#cottage garden#disease resistant#low water use#insect pest tolerant#deer resistant#long bloom time#borders#beds#self-seeding#pollinator plant#late spring flowers#mid-summer flowers#nectar plant fall#nectar plant spring#early summer flowers#late summer flowers#border back#border middle#patio planting#flowers early fall#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#late fall flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Leonotis
    Species:
    leonurus
    Family:
    Lamiaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used in traditional African medicine.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South Africa
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Orange
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Tubular
    Flower Description:
    Hairy tubular orange flowers in whorls with two lips appear late spring through fall. The common name Lion's Ear comes from the flowers resembling the color and shape of a lion's ear.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    4"-6" long laceolate dark green leaves with serrated margins
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Patio
    Rock Wall
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Insect Pests