Wild Dagga or Lions Tail
Leonotis ocymifolia [leonurus]
The Wild Dagga is a sparse shrub with tall, 4-angled stems which are square in cross-section. The leaves are in pairs, may be narrow or broad and are toothed; they are often hairy.
The flowers are carried in dense, spiky golfball-sized heads spaced up the stems supporting tubular orange flowers; they are separated into two parts or lips, a hooded upper lip which encloses the stamens, and a small lower lip.
Sunbirds usually feed on the nectar of the flowers. The flowering time of the Wild Dagga is during summer and autumn. Despite the common name of Wild Dagga, the leaves are not used as a substitute for true Dagga but are smoked as a relief for certain illnesses.
Wild Dagga grows in savannah areas and thickets and in South Africa can be found in Limpopo Province and the Kruger National Park.
The plant does have known medicinal qualities and different tribal groups use it for different purposes, from treatment for aches and pains to curing colds and flu. There are properties in the plant that are known to help in Type 2 Diabetes, Epilepsy, Hemorrhoids and constipation.