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Lion’s tail

Leonotis leonurus


Lion’s tail is a semi-deciduous to evergreen shrub that grows with an upright habit to 5-6 ft. high and 4-5 ft. wide. Clusters of fuzzy vibrant orange flowers are grouped in whorls on square stems, and are produced from late spring into summer. Foliage is comprised of long and narrow deep green leaves that are strongly pungent when crushed.

The lion’s tail is a striking flowering accent shrub for use Mediterranean style gardens throughout the Inland Empire. This species is best treated as a perennial that is cut back hard in late winter to control size and renew foliage character and flower development. It prefers full sun, well-drained soils, low amounts of summer moisture; young and mature plants alike can be damaged by temperatures 25°F and below. It is often planted as a unique color accent plant in background areas and perennial plantings, and a bold feature in drought tolerant gardens where it is recognized for its value to attract birds, bees and butterflies.

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Semi-deciduous, Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Spreading, Low-branching
Growth Rate: Moderate, Fast
Foliage Color: Dark green
Flower Color: Orange
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, All day sun
Function: Flowering accent plant, Commercial spaces, Borders, Banks, Background plant, Attracts bees, Fragrant foliage, Attracts butterflies, Wildlife value, Slopes, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Hummingbird plant, Grouped
Height: 5 ft. – 6 ft.
Width: 4 ft. – 5 ft.

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