There are two completely different plants called “HoneyBush” Find everything you need to know about both here.
Honeybush (Melianthus) This beautiful plant with the same name is toxic except to hummingbirds! But it’s exquisite beauty and fragrance make it a worthwhile addition to your garden.
The African Honeybush:
This plant is currently found most frequently in Africa. People are working on methods to cultivate it outside of Africa. I am anxious to have this beautiful plant in my garden and I am looking for varieties that may survive outside of Africa.
- Some can be cultivated but others have to be harvested in the wild and it is still unknown what the seeds need to germinate. It is thought the seeds elaiosomes may be dependent on ants or birds.
- This Honey bush variety Melianthus major can be successfully cultivated outside of Africa but it not only does not have health benefits it is toxic!
- Honeybush Melianthus major :
- It has attractive 12 to 20 inch long pinnate leaves with sharply toothed silver-green leaflets.
- Height of 6 feet to 10 feet
- Spreads 3 feet to 6 feet
- Plant in full sun
- Medium moisture
- It bears spike-like racemes of scented crimson to brick red flowers
- Blooms from late spring to midsummer
Care: Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained soil. Shelter from cold and wind, and excessive moisture. It can be grown in a greenhouse. It will re sprout from the base. Propagate from root basal or softwood cuttings early summer or late spring. Problems are spider mites and white flies.
- An interesting fact about elaiosomes: Elaiosomes are fleshy structures that are attached to some seeds of many plants. It is rich in proteins and lipids, they attract ants.The ants take the seed to their nest to feed their larvae . After it has been consumed the ants take the seed to their waste area, which is rich in nutrients and the seeds germinate. The ant is helping the plant by carrying its seed underground.
- Leaves can be turned into Tea.
Sometimes sold in stores, I opted to get mine online.
This big bag lasted me months and the tea received lots of praise from family and friends:
Benefits of Honeybush Tea:
- Caffeine Free
- Naturally sweet this makes it a popular choice for people who want to reduce their intake of sugar.
- This can help lower the risk of diabetes.
- It has been shown in laboratory animal studies to lower blood sugar. It is being considered as a drug for diabetes
- Not only a delicious drink it is also very healthy and contains minerals
- Anti-Viral – To help build your immune system.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- It is thought to lower cholesterol levels
- It is thought to help lower fat levels
- Helps stop coughs
- The list of healing and life enhancing abilities of Honey bush tea seems to be endless
The leaves of the honeybush plant are commonly used to make herbal teas. It grows only in small areas in the southwest and southeast of South Africa and has many similarities with rooibos.
History of Honey Bush:
It got it’s name because it’s flowers smell like honey.
I became interested in the Honey Bush because I was searching for a caffeine free tea that was also delicious! I found the honey bush tea to satisfy both of those and a lot more! The more research I did on this plant the more I wish I could grow it in my yard because it is so amazing! I will let you know when I fine one! In my research on the honey bush and trying to find ones that will live out of Africa, I found the Melianthus major which I guess I could describe as the evil twin. A very beautiful plant that is easy to grown anywhere. The Melianthus major honey bush species is not only not beneficial it is toxic! Except to humming birds,
I want to share my information and pass it on to other people that may be searching for a caffeine free drink and discover the honey bush plant and enjoy the delicious and nutritious honey bush tea!
You can plant the beautiful but toxic honey bush with the same name in your garden . Just remember the Melianthus major honey bush species is toxic.
I think the Melianthus major honey bush is a practical garden plant and I would put it as number one on my list.