Leonotis leonurus, a member of the mint family, is droughttolerant and frost-hardy once established. Its everyday name, wild dagga, originates from the Khoikhoi who smoked the dried leaves, but the plant is not related to cannabis.
This shrub grows to 3m in height, with herb-scented leaves that are rough on the upper surface and velvety on the lower surface. Clusters of tubular orange to orange-red flowers grow in tiered whorls at intervals along the square stems. There is a white-flowered form, as well as cream- and apricot-coloured hybrids. Leonotis leonurus is a must in a wildlife garden where the nectar-rich flowers attract sunbirds, bees and butterflies.
Grow this upright shrub in full sun or semi-shade in well-drained soil and cut it back at the end of winter to encourage new growth.