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elianthus major (Honey Bush) - This fast-growing evergreen open shrub can grow up to 12 feet tall or more and spread rapidly by sucker roots. The one foot long bluish-green leaves have 10-15 serrated leaflets and when bruised have a strong salty peanut butter-like smell. Spikes of dark maroon-colored flowers are displayed on stalks above the foliage from winter through spring followed by papery seed pods. These flowers are variously described as ill or pleasingly honey scented but we find the flowers only slightly fragrant (not bad or good) and hard to even discern over the scent of the foliage once it is brushed up against. Plant in full sun to part shade and water occasionally. It can rejuvenate if foliage is frozen, tolerating temperatures down to about 16 °F and the rootstock is reported as hardy to as low as 5° F if the plant is mulched. This plant looks best if pruned hard and is often treated more like a perennial than a shrub. Does suffer occasionally from whitefly infestations in shaded gardens so keep any eye on this and wash off foliage as necessary. It is considered quite poisonous but poisonous plant references also note that domestic animals will not eat these offensively scented plants unless there is no other food available.I'm a product description. I'm a great place to add more details about your product such as sizing, material, care instructions and cleaning instructions.

Melianthus major 'Honey Bush'

SKU: 364215376135199
  • The pinnate bluish-green to silvery leaves are a foot or more long with a peanut butter-like scent when crushed. Each gracefully arched leaf has 10-15 leaflets, each with sharply serrated margins. The glaucous leaves have heavy substance and a smooth, almost waxy surface. The foliage is toxic if ingested.

    Although grown primarily as a foliage plant here, honeybush does flower where it can remain in the ground year-round to flower on the previous year’s wood. It blooms from late winter through spring. Tall terminal, narrow, spike-like racemes of lightly scented brownish crimson to maroon flowers are held well above the foliage.


    The tubular flowers produce copious nectar, attracting sunbirds and other nectar-feeding birds that pollinate the flowers in in the wild. The flowers are followed by pale green, papery, bladder-like seed pods containing shiny black seeds.

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