Tufted honey bush
There are six species of Melianthus and all are from South Africa.
Melianthus comosus grows mainly in the dry interior of the country, up towards Namibia and is more compact and more rounded than Melianthus major.
The small, olive-grey leaves have the familiar serrated edges but underneath disport a honeyed, coppery tint.
In late spring, small green flowers with bright red petals are born in short clusters and produce a massive quantity of a liquid black nectar that stains clothes.
If both pollination and weather conditions prove acceptable the petals are discarded allowing four-winged bladdery seed capsules to appear. All parts of the plant smell strongly when rubbed or bruised - honey, peanut butter, steak & kidney pie and quite disgusting are some of the descriptions we've encountered.
Height and spread is very dependent on conditions and care.
Photo: Stan Shebs [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
Well drained, dry
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