Honey Flower (Melianthus major)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Honey Flower
Melianthus major
Melianthaceae

A violet dye is obtained from the flowers[168].

  • Medicinal Use

    Vulnerary[46, 61].

    The root is poisonous and emetic, but is used as a remedy against snake bites[240].

  • Edible Use

    The honey-like nectar from the flowers is eaten[2, 105, 177, 183]. Deliciously sweet, a tiny bit seems to go a long way – which is very useful since the plant does not produce that much in the British climate[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    The root is poisonous[73].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in a warm greenhouse[188]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow on the seedlings for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts[K]. Cuttings of greenwood stem tips in a frame in summer[200]. Suckers in spring[200]. They can be planted out immediately or potted up and kept in a frame for their first winter.
Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or light shade[200]. Prefers a rich loamy soil[1]. Fertile soils give good foliage effects but the plant flowers better on a poor soil[200]. A very ornamental plant it is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain[1], flowering freely in Cornwall[59]. In colder parts of the country it can be grown as a herbaceous perennial, dying down in winter but regrowing from the base in the spring[166, 200]. In these areas the rootstock must be well mulched[200]. The top growth is possibly hardy for short periods down to -10¡c, whilst the rootstock is possibly hardy to -15¡c if it is well mulched[187]. The flowers have a honey-like scent[245]. The bruised leaves have a strong aroma somewhat like peanut butter[K]. Plants are often used in sub-tropical bedding schemes[1]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
S. Africa and India.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.