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Uses

Toxic parts

The root is poisonous[1].

Edible uses

Notes

The honey-like nectar from the flowers is eaten[2][3][4][5]. 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].

Unknown part

Material uses

A violet dye is obtained from the flowers[6].

Unknown part

Dye

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Vulnerary[7][8]. The root is poisonous and emetic, but is used as a remedy against snake bites[9].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a warm greenhouse[10]. 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[11].

Suckers in spring[11]. They can be planted out immediately or potted up and kept in a frame for their first winter.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Melianthus major. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or light shade[11]. Prefers a rich loamy soil[12]. Fertile soils give good foliage effects but the plant flowers better on a poor soil[11].

A very ornamental plant it is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain[12], flowering freely in Cornwall[13]. 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[14][11]. In these areas the rootstock must be well mulched[11]. 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[15]. The flowers have a honey-like scent[16]. The bruised leaves have a strong aroma somewhat like peanut butter[K]. Plants are often used in sub-tropical bedding schemes[12].

Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[17].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Melianthus major. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Melianthus major.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Melianthus major
Genus
Melianthus
Family
Melianthaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
8
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
3 x 3 meters
Fertility
?
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type











References

  1. ? 1.01.1 Adamson. and Salter. Flora of the Cape Peninsula. ()
  2. ? 2.02.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.1 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
  10. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.511.6 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.112.2 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  13. ? Thurston. Trees and Shrubs in Cornwall. ()
  14. ? Taylor. J. The Milder Garden. Dent (1990-00-00)
  15. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
  16. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
  17. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)

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