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LEONOTIS leonurus

Image of Leonotis leonurus

James H. Schutte

Family

Lamiaceae

Botanical Name

LEONOTIS leonurus

Plant Common Name

Lion's Ear

General Description

Lion's ear is an unique tender perennial with numerous fuzzy orange flowers in tufts along a tall flower spike. This is a South African native. The dark green leaves are scalloped and fragrant if crushed.

Lion's ear needs a full sun exposure with a well draining fertile soil. Allow the ground to dry before the next watering. When the flowering ceases, cut the long spikes down and allow the plant to regrow. This plant thrives in subtropical Mediterranean-type climates. In fact, it is nearly a noxious weed in some such regions where it flowers in fall and winter. If grown as an annual it will flower in the spring and summer. Cultivar 'Harrismith White' is a white flowering form.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    4'-8' / 1.2m - 2.4m (6)

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Fall, Fall, Late Fall, Early Winter

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Orange

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes