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Melianthus major

   (Family: Melianthaceae)
Afrikaans: Kruidjie-roer-my-nie English: Giant honey flower  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Shrub
Height: 1 - 3m
Spread: 0.5 - 2m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (light)
  Frost Tolerant (light)
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
  The root is apparently the most poisonous part
Flowering time EDIT
                x x x  
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
Flower type
  Flower info
  The long flower-spikes grow out from the top of the stems in spring. The nectar-rich, bird pollinated flowers rise up above the leaves, drawing attention with their unusual rusty red colouring.
  Leaf scent
  Strong unpleasant smell
  Leaf info EDIT
  The distinctive large, smooth leaves are a light bluish-green, deeply divided and ruffled-edged. The bush has several thick stalks with the leaves placed at intervals up the stem. With a strong unpleasant smell, it warns all that it is highly toxic.
  Seed info EDIT
Description EDIT
Ornamental shrub grown mainly for its foliage.
Growing EDIT
It prefers a warm, sunny position with good drainage. Although quite tough and adaptable, it will flourish in deep, rich soil, especially if given plenty of water. Melianthus grows fast and will make a show within a few months.
Distribution EDIT
In the south western Cape where it occurs naturally; usually along streams and roadside ditches.
History EDIT
Although toxic when taken internally, it is used medicinally by the local people. They mostly use the leaves to make poultices and decoctions that are applied directly to wounds, bruises, backache and rheumatic joints.
Ecology EDIT
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