Melianthus major L.

Cape Honey-flower

Sp. Pl. 639 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Erect, sappy shrub 2–3 m high; branches glaucous, almost glabrous. Leaves 15–35 cm long; leaflets 9–13, lanceolate, 4–12 cm long, 3–5 cm wide, deeply serrate, sessile, green and glabrous on both surfaces; stipules wholly united, lanceolate, usually 5–8 cm long, attached to lower part of petiole. Racemes nodding, 30–40 cm long; pedicels 15–25 mm long; bracts ovate, 15–25 mm long, acuminate. Flowers dense; sepals ovate, shortly pouched at base, sparsely hairy, reddish; upper pair 20–25 mm long, lower 3 shorter; petals oblanceolate, 12–15 mm long, reddish-brown. Capsule 30–40 mm long, deeply 4-lobed, glabrous; seeds ovoid, c. 6 mm long. Flowers mainly spring and summer.

*DunT, *EGL, *GipP, *NIS, *VVP, *WaP. Also natu-ralized SA, Qld, NSW. Native to South Africa. Like M. comosus, cultivated and naturalised (to a greater extent) in southern parts of the state (e.g. Mt Napier, Tyrendarra, Port Albert, Lake Reeve, Mallacoota).

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Melianthaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Neville Walsh, 2014-09-10
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Geraniales
family Melianthaceae
genus Melianthus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Melianthus major in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Melianthus major in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present introduced
Dundas Tablelands present introduced
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory