Post last updated: October 6th, 2018

When I first wrote about Lion’s Tail, I was trying to explain that there was more than one variety and my first acquisition of seeds were for the wrong variety (the one with fat leaves).  I finally got my hands on the kind I wanted at one of Cunningham’s herb festivals about this time last year. It was just a stick but quickly grew to 4 or 5 feet tall. Late in the fall, it bloomed. The orange blooms on this variety, known as Leonitis Leonurus, are much more vibrant. Unfortunately, a lot of the buds did not get to develop because of early freezing temperatures.

Close-up of blooms
Close-up of blooms
Close-up of single bloom
Close-up of single bloom
Looking down on newly formed buds
Looking down on newly formed buds
This is how much it had grown by June 6, 2014
This is how much it had grown by June 6, 2014

I do not know whether or not it will survive this winter and it’s a cinch I don’t have seeds because it bloomed so late. If it does live, I will have to dig it up and move it. I planted it at the back of the flower bed, too close to the house, because I was expecting it to be a single stalk with tiered whorls like my previous variety, Leonotis nepetifolia. Once I planted the new variety in the ground, it began to branch heavily like a Fire Bush. Needless to say, it is crowded. I do hope it lives.

20 thoughts on “LION’S TAIL – PART 2”

  1. What an interesting plant and such vibrant colors.
    Will it overwinter outside and comeback again next year if it was frozen back?

    1. Meta – I have been wondering the same thing. The first freeze didn’t get it as much as the subsequent one. I can’t cover it because it’s so tall although I tried. Your question made me realize a few comments I should have made so I added a third paragraph and changed the date I acquired it as I found that info in the first article on the subject. Since August, I have been guilty of not wanting to blog or even read blogs so I’m kinda doing the bare minimum. Forgive me.

      1. Linda – You are just going through a slump about gardening and blogging. I am pretty sure that you worked so hard at all of it this year that you are needing a break from it all.
        It does not matter how much we love to garden or write about gardening, we all fall prey to a bit of burnout every now and then.
        So, if you feel the need to stop blogging for a while or just cut back a bit, feel free to do so.
        We will be here for you.

        1. Thanks Meta. I’ve definitely cut back on gardening. It’s full of those Florida Betony weeds and when the rain washed away my fall garden (seeds), I didn’t replant. My heart is just not in it right now. As for the blog, I try to find something to post every 7-10 days – that’s my version of a break from it all.

  2. I am just amazed at all the plants you know about. The color is beautiful. Mom used to call that color “burnt orange”. I hope you cut some of it for a Fall arrangement for inside. Linda’s “herb do” is this coming week-end. I can’t go Saturday. I have to be at Walter Jones Park for Winter Celebratation. Stop by if you are on this side of the river. See you Tuesday.

  3. When you and B. came by my cottage I showed you my lion’s tail just starting to bloom. It’s been in the ground 3 years, dies back in winter, but comes on strong with warm weather. I believe in zones north of here it’s an annual. I ordered mine from a nursery in Louisiana and when it arrived I thought they’d sent me an over-sized toothpick. But the first year it grew to 7 feet and bloomed Jan. thru Feb. because we had a warm winter. The hummingbirds were crazy for it. But we’ve had a couple of mean winters and this year it grew tall and gangly, had to be propped up with bamboo poles, and did not stand up to a couple of driving rains. I’m calling it a bi-annual with just dumb luck giving me a 3rd year. BTW, when I first got it my curiosity led me to the world wide web to learn more about it. I tripped across a website where some dude was selling the dried leaves for smoking, comparing the hallucenogenic high to marijuana, and encouraging immediate purchase before the feds started regulating it’s distribution. I had to chuckle. Don’t you just love the internet?

  4. I have seen this on other web sites. It is beautiful! I like the leaves as well as the flower. I do hope it comes back for you.

  5. Hi Linda, I’m also cutting back on blogging but not on gardening. We have no choice but to listen to our hearts. That’s a great plant, the Lions Tail, I hope it lives. If it does it will be great, if it doesn’t it will leave a gap and an opportunity.

    1. Hey Catmint — I’ve cut back on the gardening, too. I have a couple of other things I want to do right now. Meta said I can take a break if I wanna. 🙂 At this point, I think the Lions Tail is okay. At least the part closest to the house is okay.

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