The name pig's ears is derived from the oval shape of the grey-green leaves. The brightly coloured flowers attract bees and birds, which feed on the nectar of the plant.
It is a well-known medicinal plant. The fleshy part of the leaf is applied by many South Africans to soften and remove hard corns and warts. The heated leaf is used as a poultice for boils and other accessible inflammations, earache in particular. The Southern Sotho use a dried leaf as a protective charm for an orphan child and as a plaything.
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