Flower Friday – Leonotis leonurus

Leonotis leanurus - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Leonotis leanurus – Photograph by Laura Lecce

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!!!

Lions Tail - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Lions Tail- Photograph by Laura Lecce

38 thoughts on “Flower Friday – Leonotis leonurus

    1. Hi Gary, they were planted in the New York Conservatory garden in Central Park. One of the less well known gardens in Manhattan, and easily my favourite spot to visit. Here’s to a 2017 full of great photo oportunities for us! Have a great weekend!


  1. These photographs are beautiful. I have two Leonotis leonuris plants in my South African garden. Both are covered with leaves at the moment for the flowers will come much later, as we head towards winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Anne and welcome. I imagine that your plants survive the winter, in New York we aren’t so fortunate. It does however make us appreciate the arrival of Spring. Hope the New Year brings your garden many wonderful flowers!


      1. Actually, Wild dagga has similar but more mild effects than cannabis. I’ve written an article about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi,
        So sorry for my late reply. No, I don’t intend on using this plant. It was just a photo a acquired in a public park and wrote some information that is known about this plant. I would be interested to read your article, is it online, can you provide me with a link?
        As interested as I am about the medicinal/psychoactive properties of plants, I would be very hesitant to try anything based on the information you find online. You never know the effect any drug is going to have on your body, so it’s always a risk to try anything.


    1. Hi Margaret, happy 2017!
      Hopefully I get more time to paint soon, the holiday periods are a bit hectic and I don’t get much time to myself, I think things will be much quieter now and I can hopefully find some spare time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Joy to your heart… and warmth to your home! As the New Year arrives… Hope it brings along happiness, hope and good tidings… To stay on and on Happy New Year

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and welcome! Shame you didn’t see your plant flower, you will most definitely have to get another. I see you have a huge gardening blog and I can’t wait until I have time to explore it!


  3. They are well native to South Africa but they are rarely seen. Some say that they can be poisonous as well but I could be wrong.


    1. Thank you for your comment, and welcome to my blog! From your blog page I see that you have an interest in psychoactive plants. I think that is a very interesting topic of research and look forward to watching you expand your blog.


      1. Thank you so much for your support Laura. Over the years I have done quite a bit of research regarding psychoactive plants and their properties. I hope your blog grows as well.


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