Giant Honey Flower Melianthus major
Order: Geraniales. Family: Melianthaceae
Cape White-eye DescriptionMelianthus major
grows to 2–3 m tall by 1–3 m wide. It has large deeply divided blue-green leaves 30–50 cm long, which have a distinctive odour. The leaf divides into narrow, opposite leaflet-like lobes or segments that have large teeth along their margins. These strip-like leaf lobes droop just slightly, inclined at angles that produce striking effects. The leaf surface is hairless, but covered in a grey bloom.
The dark red to maroon flowers presented on strong peduncles are densely spread along the long, erect or curved racemes. The reddish petals are shorter than the maroon sepals in this species. The flowers appear at the end of winter and early in spring, contrasting elegantly against the colour of the foliage below.
The pale green fruits are hairless pods.
All parts of the plants are poisonous.Distribution
Along the coastal strip of the Northern and Western Cape and western parts of the Eastern Cape.Habitat
Mostly along streams and roadside ditches.
Male Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Kirstenbosch
Red-winged Starling, Kirstenbosch
© Michele Nel
Cape White-eye, Kirstenbosch