ORANGE VELVET

I seem to be on a roll of publishing posts on wild flowers that I have featured before. Why not, especially when trumpeting the beauty of the velvety orange flowers of Leonotis leonurus – also known as wild dagga, lion’s tail, or narrow-leaved minaret flower. The first of these common names seems to be the most popular in this part of the world.

These colourful blooms grace the veld and gardens during most of the year and their abundance of nectar attracts a variety of birds and insects. Sunbirds are particularly drawn to them.

Here they are seen against the early morning light.

The richness of their colour is evident.

Their narrow leaves give off an interesting aromatic smell when crushed.

31 thoughts on “ORANGE VELVET

  1. Such a beautiful plant and your photos show that beauty very well, Anne. They remind me of Monarda (Bee-balm) which have the same tiered flower structure, lipped tubular flowers and square stems. Both are popular plants here in the US for pollinator gardens.

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    • We used to have some growing in our garden, but years of drought saw the end of them. I plan to collect seeds from the wild when they are ready for picking and try again.

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  2. Oh, and I see that it is related to my phlomis (Jerusalem Sage) — I suspected that when I saw its flower form. It seems that it would also fit in my garden for its low water needs — but probably wouldn’t fit because it is pretty big. Unless I take out the three phlomis and replace them with three orange velvets 🙂 I’m trying to cope with the fact that I just have a suburban lot and I can’t fit very much in here! I already removed the giant coastal lupine, which I knew was going to grow too large when I put it in.

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    • Your garden – from what I have seen of it – is a haven of beauty and well suited to your environmental conditions. It is always fun to add a new plant now and then, although as you point out, one has to keep an eye on them 🙂

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  3. Your photos capture the velvety softness of these flowers. I like what we have as Autumn hues, shades of brown, burnt orange, ruby reds. My favorite season which is over too quickly.

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