Friday, 1 August 2014

Leonotis nepetifolia (Lion's Ear)

This year the plant that has raised the most enquiries as to its name is Leonotis nepetifolia, the Lion's Ear. In previous years it has been 'Gomphocarpus physocarpus', and 'Aeonium arboreum 'Schwarzkopf', see blog entries on the 12th August 2013, but they have been surpassed by the numerous enquiries about this 6-8 foot tall, unusual looking plant. A member of the mint family, these plants were grown from seed in the spring and now form part of the display in the hot colour section of the herbaceous border and corner border.    

The exotic, bright orange, tufted clusters of flowers encircle the strong, erect stems every 8-12 inches, with the new clusters developing at the top of the stems as the plant grows taller and taller. A stunning plant that will continue to draw the attention of visitors to the gardens, all asking the same question "What is that tall, orange flowered plant?


  1. I just found this blog while I was searching for more information and pictures of Leonotis nepetifolia. In Sweden I can only seem to find the quite horrendous cultivar 'Shrimp Cocktail' but finally got some seeds from the local botanical garden a week ago. My question is now what plant is it that has the lime green foliage right next to the Lion's ear. The picture is small and I can't really place it but I love the combination. Great work.

    1. Thank you for your comment and welcome to our blog. The lime green foliage next to the Lion's Ear is the shrub Cornus alba 'Aurea', grown for its red stems in the winter and golden leaves in the summer. Pruned hard back in late February/early March. We love the combination too. Best regards Ali