Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Leonotis nepetifolia (L.) R.Br.

Herb (herbaceous or woody, under 1 m tall)
Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Flowers. © Wilson, Colin G.
Fruit. © CSIRO
Habit, leaves and flowers. © Wilson, Colin G.

Brown, R. (1753) Hortus Kewensis 2: 409-410.

Common name

Lion's ear


Plants usually single-stemmed and 1-2 m tall. Stems 4-angled. Branches of leaves produced at 5-12 cm intervals along the stem.


Leaf blades about 4.5 x 3 cm. Petioles about 2-4 cm long.


Fruits in globular heads about 4-6 cm diam. Nutlets about 3-3.5 mm long. Nutlets up to 4 per fruit. Cotyledons about 2 mm long, much wider than the radicle. Radicle about 0.6-0.7 mm long.


Coyledons about 10-15 x 5-12 mm. Petioles about 7-10 mm long. First leaf blades about 20 x 12-15 mm, margins toothed (crenate), petioles about 5 mm long. Seed germination time 69 days.

Distribution and Ecology

An introduced species originally from tropical America, which has become naturalised in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ, CEQ and southwards to south-eastern Queensland. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 160 m. Usually grows in disturbed open areas but also found on edges of monsoon forest and vine thickets.

Phlomis nepetifolia L., Species Plantarum 2: 586-587(1753), Type: Habitat in Surinami?
RFK Code
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