Where winter weather is cooler, honeybush, Melianthus major, is likely to be deciduous. If so, it annually sheds all growth that is above ground. It can not bloom where deciduous because only growth of a previous season can bloom. That is no problem here. Dark red floral spikes bloom boldly about two feet above jungly evergreen foliage for early spring.
This silvery gray foliage can grow taller and wider than six feet, even if deciduous during winter. Foliar texture is both luxuriant and elegant. Pinnately compound leaves are more than a foot long with serrate leaflets. Evergreen plants are tidier with grooming to remove deteriorating older foliage as new foliage replaces it. Deciduous plants are always fresh.
‘Antonow’s Blue’ is a bit bluer than the straight species. ‘Purple Haze’ is slightly purplish, with a slightly finer foliar texture. Some notice that the rich fragrance of honeybush bloom resembles that of honey. Also, some notice that the foliar aroma can be rather grungy. All parts of honeybush are toxic. Honeybush wants regular watering and abundant sunlight.