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Wild Flowers of the Eastern Cape:no 1-Leonotis Leonurus (Wild Dagga)

Updated on April 11, 2016
Wild Dagga -Leonotis Leonurus
Wild Dagga -Leonotis Leonurus | Source
Making a great display in winter-Wild Dagga
Making a great display in winter-Wild Dagga | Source
More East Cape Flowers
More East Cape Flowers

Wild Dagga or Lion's Tail



The Eastern Cape in South Africa enjoys a wide variety of vegetation biomes. An example is that the Addo Elephant Park covering 164 000 ha. enjoys five of the seven biomes found in South Africa.


It also can be considered a transition zone in that it lies in between the winter rainfall area of the Western Cape and the summer rainfall area further east and north. Because of these factors it enjoys a large variation of floral species and the photos with the article show just a few.


One of the very common shrubs is the Wild Dagga or Lion’s Tail that produces orange, white or yellow flowers and is found in many areas. It is somewhat drought resistant and so can survive in the drier regions. As a garden shrub it is excellent in attracting birds and butterflies. Sunbirds particularly enjoy feeding in its tubular flowers.


For many years it has been used in traditional medicine for a large variety of conditions including flu, fever, headaches, skin rashes and boils. It has also been used for insect bites including scorpion stings and snake bites.


Tests on animals have indicated a negative effect on a variety of organs. Like the banned substance Dagga it is said to have the same effects when the leaves are dried and smoked, but to a lesser degree. It is however not a banned substance.


The leaves can also be used to produce a mint tea.

Source: Wikipedea.


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    • Johan Smulders profile image
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      Johan Smulders 4 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Quite a uesful plant, thanks for the comments.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 4 years ago

      Johan, The Wild Dagga has a lot to offer: attractive to beneficials (birds and butterflies), beautiful to look at, effective against uncomfortable ailments and unpleasant critters, and tasty to drink!

      Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing South Africa's vivid wildlife, Derdriu

    • Gill Harris profile image

      Gill Harris 4 years ago from South Africa

      Very interesting. I always wondered why it was called Wild Dagga, not realising that it has a similar effect to Dagga. Lovely pics!