Plant ID forum: Orange flowers, amazingly cool.

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Name: Mike Keough
San Francisco, CA. (Zone 10a)
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putitupmike
Aug 30, 2014 1:55 PM CST
Here are a few photos of yet another unknown plant sharing our garden. Any idea what it might be?
Thumb of 2014-08-30/putitupmike/58ab70


Thumb of 2014-08-30/putitupmike/9fa084


Thumb of 2014-08-30/putitupmike/5d186e

Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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JuneOntario
Aug 30, 2014 2:02 PM CST
The pics remind me of Leonotis leonurus (Lion's Ear), but I'm not 100 per cent sure that's what it is. It's been a while since I saw one!
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Aug 30, 2014 2:03 PM CST
There are two plants, one has heart-shaped leaves and one has lance shaped leaves, one is Lion's Tail (Leonotis leonurus) and the other is Lion's Ear (Leonotis nepetifolia).

Most sites on the internet have these two plants confused and photos don't always help because the one with the heart-shaped leaves actually has lance-shaped leaves up near the top of the plant - where the flowers are, and that's what most people post photos of, the flowers.

Yours is a beauty.

Oh, one is perennial and one is an annual.

Looks like yours is the skinny-leaf perennial type. Wow!
Lion's Ear (Leonotis leonurus)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Aug 30, 2014 2:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Aug 30, 2014 2:38 PM CST
You lucked out Mike! If you don't want them, I'll adopt them. Hilarious!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
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Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
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clintbrown
Aug 30, 2014 2:46 PM CST
So cool. It almost looks like orange Monarda!
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 30, 2014 4:02 PM CST
I too agree with the identification of Leonotis.

As June mentioned, the plant in the foreground with orange blooms looks to be Lion's Ear (Leonotis leonurus)

As green mentioned, the one in the back with more heart shaped leaves might be Lion's Ear (Leonotis nepetifolia)
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Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Aug 30, 2014 6:48 PM CST
I agree And I'm with Ann....I'm always ready to adopt an unwanted!!!!
Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
growitall
Aug 30, 2014 7:00 PM CST
Agree with Leonotis leonuris . There's only one orange- flowered plant in the photo... the somewhat heart-shaped leaves in the back are on a tree.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Aug 31, 2014 3:43 AM CST
Just to keep things straight, I didn't say that there was more than one type of Leonotis in the photos; I was referring to the fact that there are two types of Leonotis that have similar flowers and that the leaf shape helps with the identification. Guess I could have worded it better but I only see one type of Leonotis in putitupmike's pictures. The heart-shaped leaves in his pictures are clearly attached to a different plant.

I grow the heart-shaped annual type Leonotis in my garden, and when I was researching I found so much misinformation and misidentified photos all over the internet; they seem to use the names 'Lion's Ear' and 'Lion's Tail' interchangeably in error. For an identification of this type of plant it would be good to see photos of the lower leaves as well as the upper leaves and that is visible in putitupmike's pictures.

(Now I am secretly hoping that he will be saving seeds and offering to trade them for postage!)
Hint, hint:
http://garden.org/ideas/view/greene/1630/Prickly-Seed-Pods/
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Ron
Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Region: Florida Hummingbirder Butterflies Bromeliad Tropicals Foliage Fan
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rattlebox
Sep 4, 2014 10:18 PM CST
Greene nailed it! I tip my hat to you. Thumbs up Thumbs up
Most definitely Leonotis leonurus.

In the second photo, you see most of the shrub, all the way to the ground. All leaves are lanceolate as with L. leonurus, while with L. nepetifolia, only the top couple leaves are lanceolate, the vast majority being arrowhead/chordate in shape.

Secondly, look at the "seed pod ball" after the spent flowers have dropped. Greene casually slipped a link "Prickly Seed Pods?" into the bottom of her post that shows the character of L. nepetifolia pods very well. The pod outer surface is a mass of spikelets that are stiff and VERY sharp, You just can't putz around with these plants without getting stabbed multiple times. With L. leonurus, the pod is more like a round honeycomb. There are no sharp spikes.

In my experience, L. nepetifolia is an annual that produces hundreds and hundreds of seed, while L. leonurus is a perennial shrub and very stingy with seed; I can only seem to collect a few at any given time (though YMMV). Luckily, L. leonurus strikes readily from cuttings, so seed are not important for propagation.
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