These photos are from the very unusual plant called leonotis leonurus (commonly called lion’s tail or wild dagga) native to South Africa. A very hardy perennial plant belonging to the mint family which is drought resistant, deer resistant and also used as an annual in colder climates. It forms unusual tubular flowers in clusters along the stem with newer clusters appearing at the top. The shape of the flowers are perfectly suited for pollination by sunbirds and hummingbirds, but also attracts butterflies and bees with sweet nectar inside the flowers. This plant has psychoactive compounds with similar effects to cannabis in that smoking dried leaves and flowers can give a mild calming effect (please do not try this on account of my blog!) Leonurine has also been found to have antioxidant, cardio-protective, anti-inflammatory and hypoglycemic (anti-diabetic/blood sugar lowering) properties. The unusual flowers which are commonly orange but also come in a white and yellow variety gave me some very bright and interesting photographs. Happy weekend everyone, see you in 2017!!!