Melianthus major or ‘Kruidjie-roer-my-nie’ is a dramatic, tropical looking, accent shrub native to South Africa.
Best known for its unusual blue-green foliage with distinctive ruffle edged leaves, the Melianthus major produces a distinctive smell when handled, leading to its Afrikaans name. The shrub easily reaches a height of up to 2 m within growing season and has a similar spread. A quick grower, Melianthus major produce upright, bronze flower spikes from spring to summer which will attract a multitude of birds to the garden. The flowers are nectar rich and secrete a honey-like substance, hence the name Giant Honey flower. Pale green, bladder-like pods that contain black seeds follow after the plant has flowered.
Tough and adaptable, the shrub will thrive in rich, well-drained soil and can survive frosty climates. Poorer soil and dry summers would show slower growth and the plant can become untidy which would necessitate cut back in early spring to encourage new growth.
The evergreen Melianthus major is a unique shrub and will provide colour and interest in the garden on a year round basis.