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Leonotis nepetifolia

Leonotis nepetifolia
annual lion's tail
Leonotis nepetifolia

Synonym(s) Phlomis nepetifolia
Common name annual lion's tail
Family lamiaceae
Life cycle annual
Flowers orange
Size 4-6'
Light sun
From seed germinate at room temperature or slightly warmer
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripensmid-August

When I started these from seed, I thought I was getting L. leonurus - a tender perennial. I wasn't sure how much they would do in one season of growth - I'm no good at keeping tropicals alive through winter. As it turns out, they were this annual species, and they performed just fine in their single season of growth. By mid-June, the green pineapple buds already showed there would be flowers soon - and by early July the bold orange flowers showed themselves. The flowers fade a bit after a week, taking on a less vivid color but otherwise hanging in there for a bit longer. After the first flush of bloom, the plants, already about 4 foot tall, toppled over and I mostly forgot about them. Which made their re-appearance later in summer a nice surprise: the fallen stalks had rooted at various places, and sent new vertical flowering stems up. With the improved base support, these stayed upright through the rest of the season. Certainly a worthwhile addition to our garden - I collect and start seed every year now (they will not sustain a self-seeding population in our zone 6 garden). The square stem typical of the mint family

annual lion's tail
Still sprucing up the garden in winter
Leonotis nepetifolia

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '06 trade. Baggy 70F (15d; 5%G, 5d) - 75F (10d; 10%G, 4d)
  2. Seed from '07 garden. Baggy 75F (47+%G, 3-6d)
  3. Seed from '07 garden. Baggy 75F (90+%G, 2-5d)
  4. Seed from '09 garden. Baggy 75F (82%G, 2-6d)

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