Seeds of South Australia
Melianthus comosus (Melianthaceae)
Tufted Honey Flower (Kruidje-roer-my-nie)
List of species for Melianthus
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
November to February
Herbarium regions:
Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South East
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Melianthus]
Name derivation:
Melianthus from the Greek 'meli' meaning honey and 'anthos' meaning flower; alluding to the flowers which produce copious black nectar. Comosus from Latin meaning hairy or tufted; referring to the plant being hairy all over or to the leaves clustered in a tuft at the tip of the branches.
Distribution:
An introduced species native to south-western Africa (South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia) and recorded in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia, growing in coast environment and drier inland sites. Also found in Victoria.
Status:
Introduced. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in Victoria.
Plant description:
Erect much-branched, hairy shrub to 2 m tall. Leaves large, grey-green, serrated, clustered towards the tips of the branches. Inflorescence a spike with hairy greenish and pink flowers with a dark red spot inside at the base. Flowering between August and November.
Fruit type:
Grey-brown four-winged bladder-like capsule to 30 cm long.
Seed collecting:
Collection the mature capsules, those that are turning brown, fat and contain dark hard seeds.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray for a week. Then rub the capsules with your fingers to dislodge all the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be careful as the seeds are very small. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.