Derivation of Name : 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.
are velvety and woody at the base. The leaves are long, narrow,
rough above, velvety below, with serrate 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. The wild dagga is fast growing and is frost hardy.
It should be well watered in summer but does not require much water
in the winter months. It is very easy to grow but will do best in
well drained loamy soils with plenty of compost added. Plants should
be cut right back at the end of winter. Propagate from seed, cuttings
or by dividing up large clumps.
The wild dagga is widely used in traditional medicine to treat
fevers, headaches, coughs, dysentery and many other conditions.
It is also used as a remedy for snake bite and as a charm to keep
Witwatersrand National Botanical Garden