Lion's Ear (Leonotis nepetifolia) in the Lions Tail Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Lion's Ear
Give a thumbs up Klip Dagga
Give a thumbs up Devil's Pincushion
Give a thumbs up Lion's Tail

Botanical names:
Leonotis nepetifolia Accepted
Phlomis nepetifolia Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Annual
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 4 to 10 feet (1-3 m)
Plant Spread: 4 to 6 feet (1.2-1.8m)
Fruit: Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Orange
Flower Time: Late summer or early fall
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Cut Flower
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Toxicity: Other: may cause skin irritation
Propagation: Seeds: Needs specific temperature: 65 to 70F
Days to germinate: 14 to 21
Sow in situ
Start indoors
Can handle transplanting
Other info: self-seeds
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger

Received a packet of surprise mix seeds from a member here at All

The Top 25 Annuals, Selected by ATP MembersThe Top 25 Annuals, Selected by ATP Members
January 18, 2014

Ever wonder what the most popular annuals appear to be? We have run a report of the most photographed and discussed annuals in our database!

(Full article29 comments)
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This plant is tagged in:

Posted by Tree_climber (Brown City, MI) on Mar 9, 2014 9:21 AM

It was a fast grower, and pretty sturdy. We get some pretty strong winds, and it stayed upright until the beginning of fall, when the winds were just too strong. It is very hard to collect seed from this plant. The flower heads are very spiky .... like little needles. The best way I could devise to harvest the seeds was the following:

Wear gloves!
Cut the seed heads off, and put them in a paper bag.
Let the seed heads dry for a few days (or longer) in the bag and then shake the bag for several minutes.
Most of the seed will fall to the bottom of the bag, and you can discard the seed heads .... make sure you still use gloves.
It is not worth trying to get more seed out of the heads, those little "needles" will get you right through the gloves.

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Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Sep 18, 2011 11:20 AM

Let seed heads dry on plants. Birds like the seeds or you can bag the seed heads for collection. CAUTION! The seed heads are spiney & can prick you -- be careful! Wear gloves when handling.
Drought tolerant -- suitable for Xeriscaping.

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Posted by gardengus (Indiana Zone 5b) on Aug 8, 2012 3:39 PM

The leaves on this annual are cordate (heart-shaped) with soft serrated edges up to 4'' wide, except the top leaves, which are lanceolate (lance-shaped), also with serrated edges.

Originally from tropical Africa and southern India

I first grew this from seed (winter sown) and it has reseeded very sparsely on its own, one or two plants a year.

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Plant Events from our members
jmorth On April 17, 2015 Plant emerged
jmorth On March 31, 2015 Seeds sown
In small container placed in plastic bag. Seed 2 years old.
jmorth From March 31, 2015 to April 17, 2015 Seeds germinated
MrsBinWY On April 25, 2017 Potted up
MrsBinWY On April 10, 2017 Seeds germinated
MrsBinWY On April 2, 2017 Seeds sown
milk jug, warm room temp, 16 seeds from ishareflowers
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Leonotis leonurus flower & Leonotis nepetifolia seed pod by Danita Jun 11, 2015 10:58 AM 0
Leonotis nepetifolia by Danita Nov 12, 2017 2:51 PM 6
What is the name for this 'flowering' plant? by jeaniesabbagha Nov 22, 2017 11:09 AM 4
What Plant Varieties Are You Going To Get In 2016? by Marilyn May 27, 2016 6:22 PM 82
Saving Seeds Summer/Fall 2015 by CarolineScott Oct 20, 2015 10:40 AM 58
Lions tail -plant database question by LynneHTx Apr 14, 2015 5:31 PM 10
Who is saving seeds this fall? by mom2goldens Oct 21, 2014 12:53 PM 100
Orange flowers, amazingly cool. by putitupmike Sep 4, 2014 10:18 PM 9
Looking for Lion's Ear seeds by TexasPlumeria87 Jul 29, 2014 10:59 AM 5
Pics of your annuals that are looking good in Oct by bluegrassmom Nov 29, 2012 11:06 AM 11
Chat thread by wcgypsy Aug 13, 2018 3:14 PM 10,638

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