Leonotis nepetifolia | Flower petals | Klip dagga | Lion’s Ear | From high Andean mountains
We sell 2 varieties from the Leonotis family on our website. Leonotis leonorus from Thailand and the nepetifolia from Ecuador. Leonotis nepetifolia is also known as Klip dagga, or lion’s ear.
A Kichwa family, which we’ve known for a long time, goes up into the Andes mountains to harvest these our lion’s ear flower petals. It is a time-consuming job because the petals are hand-picked one by one. This is because the carpel (the part where the flower petals grow out of) is full of sharp thorns. They do the work with great attention to detail to ensure you are getting the best quality there is. Our Klip dagga is harvested from wild plants so it goes without saying that no fertilizers are used.
The harvest is focused on only the mature flowers. What’s interesting is that if you pick a flower petal, you see that a drop or two of sweet nectar comes out of it. It’s a natural sweetener! If you burn the flower petals, you will smell a pleasant sweetish odor.
This plant from the Lamiaceae (mint) family is native to higher altitudes of the Andes Mountain range. Its flowers are traditionally smoked or consumed as tea. They induce calming and sedating sensations according to traditional beliefs.
L. nepetifolia or Klip dagga is a large evergreen shrub, growing up to 3 meters (8 ft.) tall, that belongs to the mint family. Its exuberant flowers which are commonly orange, are a favorite amongst hummingbirds and butterflies. It grows to a height of 3 meters and has whorls of striking lipped flowers, that are most commonly orange but can vary to red, white, and purple. It has very soft serrated leaves that can grow up to 4 inches wide.
It has been shown that Cirsiliol, a flavone commonly found in Lamiaceae species, has shown antitumoral activity in mice without noticeable side effects. It has also been shown that Klip dagga has microbial and antileishmanial effects, which means that it can help prevent the growth of sand-fly larvae under the skin.
de Oliveira, Diego Pinto et al. “Exploring the bioactivity potential of Leonotis nepetifolia: phytochemical composition, antimicrobial and antileishmanial activities of extracts from different anatomical parts.” Natural product research vol. 35,18 (2021): 3120-3125. doi:10.1080/14786419.2019.1686367
Oliveira, Ana P et al. “β-Cyclodextrin complex improves the bioavailability and antitumor potential of cirsiliol, a flavone isolated from Leonotis nepetifolia (Lamiaceae).” Heliyon vol. 5,10 e01692. 1 Nov. 2019, doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01692