This plant is Lion’s Ear, or Leonotis Leonorus. Originally from South Africa, it’s a fast-growing, tropical shrub that will reach 3 to 6 feet and attract pollinators like crazy. I bought mine on a whim a couple of weeks ago and I hope I can get my hands on some next summer, because this is a very interesting-looking and generally cool plant that hummingbirds cannot resist.
I love the orange color, which will also work well with fall decor. Lion’s Ear is hardy only to Zone 9, though, so I will grow it as an annual.
This is a fairly drought tolerant plant that likes full sun and the occasional dead heading. It is also salt tolerant, so coastal gardeners take note. I read that it is sometimes grown as a hedge, which would look awesome.
The flowers remind me of a cross between monarda blooms and tiny pineapples and they look great in a vase. Lion’s Ear has been added to my “must buy more of these” list for next summer.