Mighty Tough Lion's Tail
After surveying my yard after the string of days of hard frosts, I am so impressed with my Lion's Tail, Leonotis leonurus. Many of my other plants have crumpled, but this plant stands stately and tall and is still in bloom. I had it in a pot for years, but put it in the ground about a year and a half ago.
It grows in Sunset zones 8-24, takes full sun and little water. It is a member of the mint family and originally from South Africa. It starts blooming in the summer and is still going. The blooms are extremely long lasting and feel almost fuzzy. The flowers make an exciting addition to floral arrangements. The flowers dry beautifully as well.
Sunset says it can freeze if it gets cold enough, but if that happens to just cut it back in the spring. Leonotis can grow four to six feet tall and has toothed leaves that range from two to five inches long. My plant is only about three feet tall now, but then I pick the flowers often.