Leonotis leonuris: Glengarry, Kamberg
Though the most common colour for a Leonotis leonuris is orange, this can vary from the shock of volcano bright through a range of paler oranges, fading to a white, which is both uncommon and difficult to grow.
It is known colloquially as "wild dagga" since it apparently has some mildly hallucinogenic properties, apparently not dissimilar to that of Cannabis satava or marijuana - what we in South Africa call dagga. Why do we call it dagga in this country? I haven't a clue, and Dr Google is of little help in this regard.
However, the fact that Leonotis grows freely and wild on many hillsides in South Africa and no notable harvesting of the leaves and flowers is discernible leads me to believe that, whatever effects it has must be mild and hardly worth bothering with. After all, it would become a regulated substance otherwise - you would assume so anyway.
After all, South Africans are peculiarly adept at smoking stuff (even their socks! **). Even if we didn't invent it, we certainly perfected crushing up mandrax (quaaludes) and smoking these with dagga, and certainly also crush up low-grade heroin and even rat poison with dagga. It seems South Africans have even tried crushing up antiretrovirals used to combat the HIV/Aids scourge in this country and using those, together with dagga - though there is much contestation around whether or not this is actually happening.
On the one hand, there are stern denials from the government, on the other hand, qualitative research undertaken indicates that there are at least some who are doing it.
Within many cultures, the flowers and stems of Helichrysum are lit and smoked above a fire and create a feeling of mild euphoria. It is interesting that you don't see Leonotis for sale amongst the bundles of harvested and dried Helichrysum.
Apparently the smoke from the flowers is harsh and it is more commonly used as a tea made from the leaves. For those adventurous souls amongst us.
All I know is that they are a beloved grassland plant, that flowers over an extended period of time and brings the sunbirds and others to the window of my bedroom, drawn by the nectar contained within. A flower of late summer, autumn and even winter, it provides essential food for many insects and birds.
**For some strange reason, we have a saying, which goes, "She must be smoking her socks" to indicate that someone is behaving peculiarly. Why that person would smoke their socks, and how the saying arose, is, unfortunately, lost in the mists of history.