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Herbaceous PerennialShrubs

Melianthus major 'Antonow's Blue'

great honey flower 'Antonow's Blue'

A large, evergreen sub-shrub to 2.5m with a few, more-or-less upright stems from the base with very large, divided, blue-grey-green leaves with about 15 jagged-edged leaflets and pink stalks. In a good summer will produce cylindrical flower spikes about 30cm long with dark red stems and very dark red flowers followed by inflated, pale green seedpods

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Grey Silver Green Blue
Summer Red Grey Silver Green Blue Green
Autumn Grey Silver Green Blue Green
Winter Grey Silver Green Blue
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Francoaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Melianthus are evergreen shrubs, often grown as herbaceous perennials, with handsome pinnate leaves and small, tubular flowers in narrow, erect racemes

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Shelter from cold, drying winds and provide a dry mulch in winter to protect from excessive winter wet. Alternatively, grow in a container and keep outside over the summer and bring under glass in late autumn

Propagation

Propagate by basal, softwood cuttings in spring or propagate by division in early spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Patio and container plants
  • Sub-tropical
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Pruning group 7 or pruning group 8

Pests

May be susceptible to red spider mite and glasshouse whitefly when grown under glass

Diseases

May be susceptible to honey fungus (rarely)

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