Botanical name: Leonotis nepetifolia Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Phlomis nepetifolia
Lion's Ear is an erect, branched herb that can grow 8 ft tall. The stems are strongly 4-angled. Oppostely arranged are smooth with coarsely toothed margins, triangular in shape and 2-5 in long. The flowers are borne in rounded, spiny clusters, 2-4 in across, that encircle the stems so that it looks like the stems are growing right through the middle of the clusters. As the stems elongate, new flower clusters continue to develop above the older ones. Orange, furry, tubular flowers that emerge out of the spiny heads look like a lion's ear, with some imagination. The flowers are about 1 in long and curve downward. Lion's Ear originated in tropical Africa, but is now naturalized world wide. Flowering: November-December.
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