|New flower bud on Melianthus major|
I know some gardeners that turn their noses up at this plant and I've heard it said that it's a bit too common, but I rate Melianthus major very highly. Besides, plants have to earn their popularity, right? I love the large, ornamental leaves. I love the slightly glaucous colour to the foliage. I love the rapid rate of growth. And I love the way it fits in so well with other subjects in a subtropical garden setting. It's my kind of plant!
|Beautiful glaucous leaves on Melianthus major|
This year, I found one for sale late February. It got planted out in March. Once the soil warmed in the Spring it really took off. 9 or 10 months on and it has had the entire growing season to put out roots and harden off the new wood. Now, in January, it is looking fantastic. And with that bud! I would normally expect flowers in late Spring on the previous seasons growth (plants that are cut to the ground and reshoot after winter won't flower) so this was a real surprise.
Lets hope that the rest of the winter is just as mild and that the flower gets it's chance to open!
|Detail of new leaf opening|
|Melianthus major and a Kniphofia sp (red hot poker) photographed at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens in sunnier times.|