Melianthus L.


Greek meli — honey, anthos — flower, referring to the copious nectar production.

Unpleasant-smelling evergreen shrubs. Leaflets toothed. Flowers solitary or few together, nectar abundant, hence the common name. Petals 4 or 5, the upper ones hooded. Stamens 4, free, protruding from the flower. Fruit a 4-winged papery capsule; seeds shiny, black.

Grown for the unusual foliage and flower clusters.

5 species from S Africa.

Seed or softwood cuttings.

Some species of Melianthus have local medicinal uses.

Leaves pinnate, waxy-blue, strongly toothed; flowers russet; stamens 4.

Phillips & Hofmeyr (1922).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Melianthaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Geraniales
family       Francoaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Melianthus major L.