Leonotis leonurus . These shrubs are flowering profusely in my garden and the sunbirds love them. The corolla should be covered with orange petals but the amount of sunbirds who sip their nectar are numerous. The plants constantly regenerate petals which the sunbirds utilise constantly! The common name for Leonotis leonurus is Wild dagga*
Leonotis = from the Greek leon meaning lion and otis meaning ear, alluding to the resemblance of the corolla to a lion's ear. leonurus = lion-coloured.
The wild dagga is a robust shrub which grows up to 2-3m tall and 1.5m wide. It is common and widespread throughout South Africa and grows amongst rocks in grassland.
Stems are velvety and woody at the base. The leaves are long, narrow, rough above, velvety below, with serrated edges. The wild dagga flowers profusely in autumn with its characteristic bright orange flowers carried in compact clusters in whorls along the flower stalk. Apricot and creamy white flowered forms are also found.
This is an excellent plant for attracting wildlife to your garden as the flowers profuse copious nectar which attracts birds, bees and butterflies.
Note * Dagga is a drug also known as cannabis, bungi, marijuana or weed. Wild dagga plant only resembles the illegal drug plant and is completely harmless. Wild dagga is indigenous to South Africa and I've since discovered in the bush here in the valley in East Africa. Of course, Stanley and I collected a few plants from the wilds and brought them into my garden. Sue, Sharda and the Guest House staff have all planted Leonotis leonurus in their gardens.
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