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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Melianthus major 'Antonow's Blue' My Favorte Plant in the Garden This Week.

 
 
This is a favorite plant of many folks but I was out taking a few pictures in my parking strips and was struck by  the freshness and  beauty of Melianthus major 'Antonow's Blue' so it's my favorite this week.

"A selection of the Honey Bush from the late Steve Antonow's garden in Seattle where every plant was impeccably grown. This has superb blue leaves which can reach 20" long and the plant itself can get 6'-10' high. Odd reddish-brown flowers."  -  Kelly Dodson.


The color contrasts of the foliage, petioles, and stems alone make this an interesting plant.

When brushed, the leaves smell like peanut butter.   

What's not to love?

You can read  Linda Cochran's take on Melianthus major here.

Loree over at Danger Garden hosts My Favorite Plant in the Garden This Week.  Click here to see the favorite plants of many gardeners this week.


  • Hardiness: to Zone 8a
  • Mature Size: 6'-10' and nearly as wide
  • Exposure: sun/pt sun
  • Bloom Time: June-Jul
  • Moisture Needs: average moisture

  • So, What's your favorite plant in the garden this week?

    27 comments:

    1. Be still my heart! It's not hardy here of course but every year I grow Melianthus major as a potted. So far I have not seen 'Antonow's Blue' available. In years of relatively mild winters I have had Melianthus over winter in my detached garage. Not reliably though.

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      1. Wow, I'm impressed that it's wintered over for you in your garage. It's been sort of iffy here for me.

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    2. Anotonow's Blue does look very blue, a fine selection of this great plant!

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    3. Love it! Both of my Melianthus are looking fabulous too.

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      1. Now that you mentioned it, I'm wondering where my purple haze got to. I'm pretty sure I planted it in the ground. Must be somewhere, right?

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    4. Long a favorite of mine...you got some excellent photos.

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      1. Glad you're among the fans of this cool plant!

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    5. I rarely see this plant in my area but I love the foliage so maybe I need to find a place to try it out. It really smells like peanut butter? My Sunset Western Garden Book says it's "malodorous," which gives me pause - but peanut butter I can handle!

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      1. On Dave's Garden, there was a negative review of this plant by someone who lived in a much warmer climate than mine and said that it was a thug and spread everywhere by seed. Maybe if one had to be pulling it up all the time, (s)he wouldn't find it as pleasant but the occasional brush by a single plant yeilds a delightful fragrance to my nose.

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    6. Beautiful. I agree...what's not to love. I don't suppose it is very hardy....

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      1. Pretty hardy here in zone 8. Some winters it dies to the ground but it comes back from the roots very well.

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    7. Amazing leaves. It would look good with a big plastic dinosaur behind it. Just a suggestion.

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      1. A fine idea! I'll keep my eye out for one!

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    8. You beat me to it! My 'Antonow's Blue' is looking magnificent, rain or shine. It glows almost white where I have it between some bamboo clumps. I thought of doing my Fave post on it, too, but you've done much more justice to its background and admirers. Count me among them!

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      1. Jane, I think you should still post this as your favorite plant. If I recall correctly, it really did glow in front of your beautiful bamboos. It's great to see plants in lots of different situations and there's a prize if two people choose the same plant as their fave. (a free subscription to Danger Garden.)

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    9. I love me a Melianthus and I NEED Antonow's Blue....

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      1. You must have it! Far Reaches is currently out but I'll bet that someone will have it at the HPSO sale in the spring. Are they sticking with Hortlandia?

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    10. Oh lordy, that is just giving me some serious palpitations.I might have to call in sick tomorrow to recover. On the list it goes..

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      1. Oh my, you must take care of your heart so a sick day is definitely in order. A healthy workforce is vital to our nation's well being! It's your patriotic duty to take a three day weekend! This is a gorgeous plant.

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    11. Beautiful foliage and colors! It must feel at home with your other tropical-looking plants.

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      1. I think it feels o.k. It's sort of in a dry area with yuccas and a big grevillea. The whole concept of design is a wonderful thing but usually I just plop things in wherever there's a tiny space.

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    12. I lust after this plant! And unfortunately I never have seen it for sale! What gives?! SOOO NICE!

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      1. Monrovia has it now so it should be more widely available.

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    13. Dahlias! Aaaaaaaaaaah.
      "This plant" is so foreign looking to me. Wonder if it has ever seen the light of Indiana? I love it when the underside of leaves are as interesting as the uppers (come to think of it, it is often the case....)

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      1. It would probably love your summer heat and some folks grow it as an annual or winter it over inside. That's why bugs are such happy creatures, they get to see the undersides of leaves all the time!

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    14. Learn more about Steve in the follow post:
      "Remembering Steve Antonow."
      https://raingardenartsblog.com/2014/07/07/remembering-steve-antonow/

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    Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.