Melianthus major

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Melianthus major
Melianthus major l. by Stefano Bolognini.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Geraniales
Family: Melianthaceae
Genus: Melianthus
Species: M. major
Binomial name
Melianthus major
Fruit capsules and seed of M. major - MHNT

Melianthus major (giant honey flower or Kruidjie-roer-my-nie) is a species of flowering plant in the family Melianthaceae. 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 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]

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]


  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.