Melianthus major L.


Shrub to 2 m or so tall with fleshy stems. Leaves to about 0.5 m long, waxy-blue. Leaflets 7–11, ovate-oblong, toothed, 6–12 cm long, 2–2.5 cm wide; stipules to 10 cm long. Flower clusters russet-red, to about 70 cm long; spring to summer. Fruit capsule 3–4 cm long, bladder-like and net-veined; seed black, shiny, 2 per chamber.

South Africa

Naturalised in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.


M. comosus Vahl, Tufted Honeyflower, from South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia is a slightly downy shrub with free stipules and, although no longer cultivated, has become naturalised in South Australia and Victoria.

Created by: Rob Cross

Updated by: Rob Cross, June 2018

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Geraniales
family       Francoaceae
genus        Melianthus L.