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: (2002). Melianthaceae. In: . 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.