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Melianthus major AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial or Shrub

Habit

Bushy

Resilience

Hardiness

H3 (half hardy - unheated greenhouse/mild winter)

Colour

Flower

Dark Purple in Spring and Summer

Foliage

Green and Grey/Silver in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

1.5-2.5 metres

Ultimate spread

1.5-2.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

honey flower

Family

Melianthaceae


Melianthus are evergreen shrubs, often grown as herbaceous perennials, with handsome pinnate leaves and small, tubular flowers in narrow, erect racemes

M. major is a sparsely branched, medium-sized evergreen sub-shrub of sprawling habit, with handsome glaucous, pinnate leaves to 45cm in length. Small, tubular maroon flowers in erect racemes to 30cm in length in spring and summer

Other common names

  • great honey flower
  • honey bush

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Shelter from cold, drying winds and provide a dry mulch in winter to protect from excessive winter wet. Alternatively, grow in a container and keep outside over the summer and bring under glass in late autumn

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Loam, Chalk or Clay

Propagation

Propagate by basal softwood cuttings in spring or propagate by division in early spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Patio/Container Plants, Architectural, Flower borders and beds or Wall-side Borders


How to care

Pests

May be attacked by glasshouse red spider mite and glasshouse whitefly under glass

Diseases

Generally disease free