Leonotis Nepetifolia - Annual Lions Ear or Klip Dagga
Annual lion's ear was originally native to tropical and subtropical Africa, however, it is now naturalized all over the world in appropriate climates, where it grows along road shoulders, in abandoned fields and in disturbed areas.
Annual lion's ear is an erect, loosely branched annual that can get 2.4 m tall in its single growing season. The stems are square in cross section and the leaves are in pairs opposite each other. The leaves are smooth with coarsely toothed margins, triangular in shape and 5-13 cm long. The flowers are borne in rounded, spiny clusters, 5-10 cm) 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. The tubular flowers that peek out of the spiny heads are orange and furry, like a lion's ear, so they say. The flowers are orange
and about 2.5 cm long and curve downward.
Popular with butterflies.