Melianthus major

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Melianthus major
Melianthus major l. by Stefano Bolognini.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Geraniales
Family: Francoaceae
Genus: Melianthus
M. major
Binomial name
Melianthus major
Fruit capsules and seed of M. major - MHNT

Melianthus major, the giant honey flower or kruidjie-roer-my-nie (Afrikaans for 'herb-touch-me-not'), is a species of flowering plant in the family Francoaceae. It is an evergreen suckering shrub, endemic to South Africa and naturalised in India, Australia and New Zealand.[1][2] It grows to 2–3 m (7–10 ft) tall by 1–3 m (3–10 ft) wide, with pinnate blue-green leaves 30–50 cm (12–20 in) long, which have a distinctive musky odour. Dark red, nectar-laden flower spikes, 30–80 cm (12–31 in) in length, appear in spring, followed by green pods.[1][3] All parts of the plants are poisonous.[2]

The Latin binomial Melianthus major literally means "large honey flower".[4] The plant is also sometimes called honeybush (along with many other plants).

In cultivation this plant requires a sheltered location and may also need a protective winter mulch in temperate regions. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Melianthus major". South African National Biodiversity Institute. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
  2. ^ a b Blood, Kate. (2001). Environmental weeds: a field guide for SE Australia. Melbourne, Australia: Bloomings Books. ISBN 0957908601.
  3. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
  4. ^ Coombes, Allen J. (2012). The A to Z of plant names. USA: Timber Press. p. 312. ISBN 9781604691962.
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Melianthus major". Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  6. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 64. Retrieved 4 April 2018.

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