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Wild dagga (Leonotis leonurus) seeds

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The South African Leonotis leonurus bush is also known as wild dagga or lion's tail. It has striking orange flowers with mild hallucinogenic effects. It was used as cannabis by the Khoikhoi and San, sometimes in a blend with tobacco or kanna (Sceletium tortuosum).

Leonotis leonurus grows up to 1 - 2 meters tall with long, fragrant leaves and orange tubular-shaped flowers. The flower petals resemble lions' tails, which earned this plant its local name. Bees, butterflies and birds are attracted to it, so if you're planting this in your garden be prepared for some extra visitors.

It's cultivated as an ornamental plant but was also used for hundreds of years as African folk medicine. The dried leaves and flowers produce effects similar to cannabis and as such it's sometimes used as an alternative in areas where cannabis is illegal.

Cultivating wild dagga (Leonotis leonurus)

Wild dagga is a fast-growing and relatively easy to grow plant, blooming around early autumn. Seeds can be sown in containers which are moved outside after last frost date. Cuttings may be taken in early spring.

This plant performs well in most soil types and is easily grown in well-drained soils in full sun (in warm climates). Tolerates some light shade. It prefers a dry soil and is drought-resistant. Water deeply and infrequently.

Wild dagga effects

The leaves and flowers can be harvested and dried, but don't harvest more than one-third at a time. Wild dagga produces a calming, sedating and slightly euphoric effect. These narcotic effects are reportedly similar to the effects of THC in cannabis, though noticeably milder.


Let one or two teaspoons of dried buds steep in hot water for a few minutes. Some users also report synergistic effects from combining wild dagga and cannabis.

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