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Leonotis leonurus (lion's tail) is an erect semi-evergreen shrub prized for its dazzling orange flowers, reminiscent of the lion's tail.From late spring to autumn, the fuzzy, two-lipped, 5 cm long, tubular flowers of this South African native appear in staggered whorls around the upper half of the long erect stems. The foliage of dark green, lanceolate leaves, up to 15 cm long, is aromatic when crushed.Lion's ear is a perennial in mild climate zones and performs well as an annual in regions with cold winter temperatures. It can survive temperatures as low as -6°C and will often resprout with new growth from hardened wood if it freezes in the winter. A showy plant if well maintained, Leonotis leonorus looks exceptional when combined with lavender or autumn flowering salvias.It grows to 120-180 cm tall and wide.It is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun or light shade. This plant is undemanding to soils as long as they are well drained and watered regularly. It is drought tolerant, but performs best with regular watering. In cold locations, plants should be mulched to protect the woody crown.Ideal for Mediterranean gardens, coastal gardens, cottage gardens or containers. Can be used as a screening plant. Flowers are good in floral arrangementsVirtually disease and pest free. Beware of spider mites, whitefly and grey mould when grown under glass.Responds well to pruning, remaining denser and more compact and should be pruned annually after flowering.Propagated by seed or greenwood cuttings in late spring or summer. If grown as an annual, seeds should be started indoors in winter or sown in the garden before the last frost date for flowering in autumn. If grown as a tender perennial, seeds can be sown in containers that are moved outdoors after the last frost date.Native to South Africa
Leonotis leonurus (lion's tail) is an erect semi-evergreen shrub prized for its dazzling orange flowers, reminiscent of the lion's tail.