Image Gallery


Lion's tail is a semi-deciduous to evergreen shrub that grows with an upright habit to 5-6 ft. high and 4-5 ft. wide. Clusters of fuzzy vibrant orange flowers are grouped in whorls on square stems, and are produced from late spring into summer. Foliage is comprised of long and narrow deep green leaves that are strongly pungent when crushed.

The lion's tail is a striking flowering accent shrub for use Mediterranean style gardens throughout the Inland Empire. This species is best treated as a perennial that is cut back hard in late winter to control size and renew foliage character and flower development. It prefers full sun, well-drained soils, low amounts of summer moisture; young and mature plants alike can be damaged by temperatures 25°F and below. It is often planted as a unique color accent plant in background areas and perennial plantings, and a bold feature in drought tolerant gardens where it is recognized for its value to attract birds, bees and butterflies.

Water Needs

Lion's tail grows best on well drained soils in combination with normal winter rains and low amounts of supplemental water during summer. Young plants will grow faster and flower longer with moderate amounts of water during winter and spring; established plants grow well with periodic deep irrigation in the summer.

The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 2

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 1x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 1" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"-14"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub
Foliage Character: Semi-deciduous, Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Spreading, Low-branching
Growth Rate: Moderate, Fast
Height: 5 ft. - 6 ft.
Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.
Water Needs: Low 2
Foliage Color: Dark green
Flower Color: Orange
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Slopes, Residential spaces, Raised planters, Hummingbird plant, Grouped, Flowering accent plant, Commercial spaces, Borders, Banks, Background plant, Attracts bees, Fragrant foliage, Attracts butterflies


Deadhead flower stocks after they are completely done flowering, also pruning for a nice shape while doing so (D). Cut back hard in late winter prior to vigorous spring growth (4).



Plant Palettes

Plant Lists