I’m told this plant was used in religious ceremonies by Zulu priests and that if you smoke the dried leaves it causes euphoria. I don’t know any Zulu priests so I couldn’t verify this information.
Lion’s ear can reach 6′ in height and 3′ across. It needs little water once it is settled in and many locals lost theirs with all the rain this past summer. So find a relatively dry location for it.
Hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, love this plant, as do some birds.
I picked up mine at the Conroe Extension office sale a few months back. After about a month in the ground it began to bloom. It will happily bloom in sun or shade, just less often in the shade.
You will want to prune it back late winter to early spring to keep it looking nice, otherwise it will require little care.
It will lose its leaves after a frost but should recuperate nicely. And it will die back to the ground after a hard freeze, mine’s come back each spring.
Surviving the great heat and drought of 2011