Melianthus major

Melianthus major

Common Names

Touch-me-not (english)
Kruidjie-roer-my-nie (afrikaans)

Taxonomy

Family MELIANTHACEAE
Genus Melianthus
Species major
SA Plant Number
Basionym Melianthus major

Description

Melianthus major is a hardy, evergreen, decorative shrub with large, neatly serrated, blue-green, compound leaves that are strongly aromatic when touched. From July to October the maroon flower spikes are carried above the foliage, and their dripping nectar attracts Sunbirds and insects to the garden. The black seeds are carried in decorative, pale-green translucent bladders.

Used medicinally. Needs to be pruned back hard after flowering. The plant will then send up beautiful new shoots and look neat and tidy. Prefers a damp situation and makes a good accent plant in sun or semi-shade particularly near water. Plant in well-composted soil and ensure adequate watering for best results.

Size: up to 2,5m

Wildlife

Nectar rich flowers:

The copious amounts of nectar in the flowers literaly drips out and attracts Sunbirds and insects to the garden.

Uses

Landscaping:

A good accent plant, particularly for moist parts of the garden.

Medicinal:

Used in traditional medicine.

Distribution

S.W. Cape

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