In A Vase on Monday – Lion’s Tail and Firesticks


The odd title reflects what is in my vase this Monday. The orange flowers in the front of the arrangement are from Leonitis nepetifolia (I think) Lion’s Ear or Tail, depending on who you ask and also called Dagga, the perennial version(L. leonurus) is smoked in South Africa like Marijuana. A blog friend sent me some seeds when Hurricane Matthew destroyed the one in my garden. I am now wondering if these are annual, biennial or just experiencing Florida’s seasonal weirdness. I am leaving them to go to seed in the garden, hoping for a straighter set of plants – these were knocked over by Hurricane Irma the following year and never straightened up. Florida’s seasonal weirdness at it’s inexplicable best.


Here is a close up, the Firesticks in the arrangement are from a Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia ‘Firesticks’), they are the yellow tubular plants in the arrangement. These grow 12 feet tall and wide and I have a few around the garden, you can just stick a bit in the ground and have a whole new plant in a few years. No irrigation needed or wanted. Below is a Firesticks used as foundation planting for my house, the coloration reddens as the weather heats up.20190217_171624-1 (1)

As for the rest of the arrangement, here is another photo.


The red flowers in the arrangement are from Tropical Red Salvia (Salvia coccinea), a stalwart in my garden; multicolored foliage – I don’t think varigated adequately describes the foliage, Mammey Croton (Codieum “Mammey”); the ferns in the back are Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata, of houseplant fame). The Boston Fern, another unlikely volunteer in my garden.

The vase, dark grey, was picked up at a Department Store sale as was the red stool (with patina). I have enjoyed both of these items for IAVOM posts.

Happy Monday! Stay away from the Dagga.


24 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Lion’s Tail and Firesticks

  1. Anonymous says:

    Another excellent vase from my favorite Shrub Queen

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Christina says:

    The Firesticks are amazing and a great base for your vase today. When they’re red they must make it look like your house is on fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have Firesticks in my foyer. You Florida folks grow everything bigger. Happy Monday Queen.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    You could smoke a little bit of that display to heighten the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    I’m intrigued by ‘Firesticks’ – I like its structure and color, I’d grow it if I could. Salvia is such a stalwart plant – does it flower year ’round?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. magpiesue says:

    Those Firesticks are certainly intriguing. What a wonderful addition to a southern garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Peter Herpst says:

    Such a pleasure to see these plants, most of which we coddle inside in the winter, in such abundance that they can be used in a vase. Thanks for the breath of tropical warmth. I don’t envy the weather weirdness, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cathy says:

    I love the effect of the fern in this, Amelia – it really sets off the other bits. The pencil cactus is an astonishing thing, isn’t it? When I was searching for seed of a white version of leonitis leonara I kept getting all these references to dagga and had to check out what it was all about (not literally, I hasten to add!). The plants grew but as yet I have had no flowers

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kris P says:

    Another striking composition of tropical blooms! I’ve got Leonotis leonurus growing in my garden but I never knew one could smoke it! Maybe that’s why it seems to have become so popular here in the past few year 😉 Your Leonotis nepetifolia is a short-lived perennial here, although it never did well in my garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Cathy says:

    The red salvia and the lion’s tail look great with that foliage, and aren’t those firesticks strange plants! I have only ever seen tiny ones in pots on sale as houseplants here.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. After reading all the comments, my questions were answered. I also think the Pencil Cactus is really interesting and now I know it can be a houseplant.


  12. tonytomeo says:

    My colleague just happens to be in the process of replacing a hedge with the green form of the same Euphorbia. He wants something that is not combustible. The hedge being replaced, as well as the home that it was affiliated with, burned in one of the big fires in Southern California.

    Liked by 1 person

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