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Klip Dagga
Klip Dagga

Klip Dagga

Regular price $4.00 Sale

Leonotis nepetifolia

Origin: Tropical West Africa & Southern India

Improvement status: Landrace

Seeds per packet: ~30

Germination tested 12/2023: 97%

Life cycle: Annual

Also called "lion's ear" or "Christmas candle stick," this mint-family herb grows very tall (to 10 ft) w/ tubular orange flowers. Believed to have originated in West Africa, from Senegal to Cameroon, it is also found in southern India. The spiky orbs from which klip dagga's flowers emerge, arrayed along its long central spike, make this a very striking plant. The nectar-filled flowers make it very attractive to hummingbirds and other pollinators (and people too!). 

Klip dagga has a long history of medicinal use, including against asthma, rickets, rheumatism, and headaches. Some use it to help heal wounds. Scientists in recent years have evaluated it for antibacterial, antioxidant, analgesic, antiproliferative, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, andtidarrheal, and antitumor effects. Much modern interest in its medicinal effects involves potential psychoactive properties. It's said it was traditionally used as a tranquilizer for children and people in acute mental health crises, and a recent study on mice found that an extract of klip dagga stem did extend the sleep of mice sedated with diazepam.

Many people report that smoking the dried plant (especially the flowers) or drinking it as tea can result in cannabis-like effects including euphoria, calmness, and "exuberance" (yes, those last two seem at odds — but cannabis is known to affect individuals in very different ways too). In South Africa the cannabis plant is called "dagga", so the plants have obviously been associated with each other for a time. A third species, Leonitis leonurus, commonly known as "wild dagga," is used similarly, but most sources consider it to be the less potent of the two. An alkaloid called "leonurine", found primarily in the flowers, is believed to give both plants their psychoative effects. We can offer no advice on the wisdom of using this plant and urge you to do plenty of research before considering it yourself. But even if you never consume the plant in any way, it still adds plenty of beauty and interest to any garden!

Our seed was grown by our friends Clint Freund and Kass McKinnon of Cultivating The Commons in Amery, Wisconsin.

GROWING TIPS: Very easy to grow. We recommend starting it in flats in a warm place a few weeks before last frost then planting out well after all danger of frost has passed. Tall plants may require staking. Can be grown in-ground or in containers.