Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wild Dagga [Leonitus Leonurus]: Mary Jane Substitute?

There's no secret that an important part of our gardens include a plethora of flowers. Well, the first of my seed orders arrived and as I reviewed the order with utter glee, I got to the 10th packet and proceeded to scratch my head.  What on earth was 'Wild Dagga',  I thought, and how did it get on my list?

I Googled it.

Figuring I typed it incorrectly, I Googled it again.

The same results resumed.  What in the...marijuana substitute?  I bought a marijuana substitute?  Me?  I can't have my chamomile tea too dark - what on earth would I do with a marijuana substitute?  And why in the heck would I ever consider purchasing such an item?

Hmmm....let's see a photo...ohhh, THAT'S a marijuana substitute?  I just thought the flower was unique and quite interesting...holy hell it's a dope plant.

The first time I ever saw this plant was in the garden of an older neighbor.  Her garden was pretty much a mishmash of various things all which were very distinctive and unique.  This plant stood out with its really interesting vibrant orange petals and odd structure. Now, this initial sighting had to be a good 10 years ago.  When I asked about the plant, she didn't seem to have much information about it and pretty much dismissed it rather casually. So, when I saw it listed in a catalog, I thought I'd try my hand at growing it.  Never did I imagine it had such an interesting reputation as being more than just an intriguing flower although I guess I really should have given the matter a bit more thought when ordering. Here's what was written in the catalog:

"Leonotis leonurus No cowardly lion here. Also known as Lion’s Ear, spectacular and exuberant with a series of orange tubular flowers clustered in collars along the stem. Showy vining shrub can
grow 6' in a summer if started indoors in February. Surface sow; slow germinator needs light. Damaged by frost in the mid-20s and needs full sun to flower. Native to S. Africa where it is used for epilepsy, headache, hypertension, and stomach and bronchial problems. The resinous 5" leaves, rough on top and velvety underneath, are said to have a euphoriant affect. In East African legend Dagga imparts the qualities of a lion." - Fedco of Maine

Silly me...I was just buying it for it's floral qualities and chamomile tea is strong enough for me.

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