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(Award of Garden Merit)
Originating from South Africa
Tall, evergreen shrub with very large serrated leaves and racemes of red/brown flowers in late spring/summer. A spectacular choice to add yet more drama to an exotic border, its steely/green, 80cm long, jagged edged leaves combining well and enjoying the same conditions as bananas and cannas. In late spring/early summer it may produce curious, red/brown flower spikes, which drip honey-scented nectar, and as you would imagine, are a magnet for bees. This is an aromatic plant -the leaves are distinctly peanut-scented when brushed against.
Melianthus major may remain evergreen in mild winters. Severe frost will cut it to ground, but by providing a winter mulch around the roots, new growth will appear the following spring and grow surprisingly rapidly. It has a sprawling habit and may require some support.
Grow in moist but well-drained soil in sun.
Eventual mature plant size :