MELIANTHUS VILLOSUS

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MELIANTHUS VILLOSUS

$4.00 / packet

In stock

Description

Curious maroon-brown flowers, with chocolate bracts and green stamens, produce unusual inflated fruits above attractive, musky-perfumed deeply-fingered foliage on this very rare plant. In addition, this South African native provides many odd details in its life cycle. Compared with the more well known and widely available Melianthus major, this seldom-seen beauty is more reasonably sized for the smaller garden, and has lovely fuzzy apple green leaves as opposed to the glaucous grey-green of the major. The nectar-filled flowers are intricately veined bizarre beauties of green, brown, and deep purple, which are followed by large cubical green seed pods that are puffed up, and pop like a balloon when pressed. The black nectar bulges out of the mouth of the flower, spilling out as the lower flowers on the spikes slowly rotate from right side up to upside down over the course of a day. Melianthus are apparently the only genus in the plant world that have this mysterious rotation, which would make a perfect subject for time lapse photography.

Sowing Advice

These seeds have already been thoroughly cleaned and cold-stored for several months. They should be sown into a well-drained, sandy compost at any time of the year, and covered thinly with sand or grit and kept moist. Keep at between 15 and 20 degrees C. Germination usually occurs within 4 to 6 weeks although some seeds may take much longer.

Key Facts

Family:Melianthaceae

Common name:Honey bush

Classification:Hardy perennial

Height:60-90cm

Packet Content:5 large seeds (Approx)

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