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Melianthus major 'Antonow's Blue'

Antonow's Blue honey bush

A bold dramatic shrub that grows to 6' tall and wide.  The large, deeply divided leaves are grey-green with an iridescent blue hue.  Spikes of dark burgundy flowers bloom in spring.

This selection of honey bush was named for Seattle plantsman, Steve Antonow.

Growth habit, foliage and flowers
Honey Bush is a fast-growing, evergreen shrub.  Unpruned, it'll form a rounded mass of foliage around 6' tall and wide but can be kept smaller if necessary with pruning.

The smooth grey-green leaves have a wonderful pinkish-purple cast which becomes more intense as summer goes on.  They leaves are around 18" long and deeply divided with toothed margins.  They're carried on thick, gray-green stems and are good additions to cut flower arrangements.

In late spring, showy one foot long flower spikes appear.  The flowers have deep brick-red bracts with green stamens, later followed by ornamental papery seed pods.


6-8 ft


6-8 ft


8 ft

USDA Hardiness Zone:


Melianthus major 'Antonow's Blue' Characteristics


  • Aromatic foliage
  • Fast-growing
  • Evergreen
  • Wind resistant

Foliage color

  • Silver, White, Grey

Growth habit (plant shape)

  • Mounding


  • Sunny all day - Coast
  • Morning sun
  • Sunny all day - Inland

Season of interest (flowering)

  • Spring

Season of interest (foliage)

  • Year round

Your soil type

  • Loam
  • Clay-loam
  • Sandy loam
  • Clay

Water requirements

  • None - Low

Critter resistance

  • Rabbit resistant
  • Deer resistant

Wildlife appeal

  • Attracts hummingbirds
  • Attracts bees

Suggested uses

  • Container


  • Africa

Plants that work well with Melianthus major 'Antonow's Blue'

Owlswood Blue ceanothus Owlswood Blue ceanothus (Ceanothus 'Owlswood Blue')
Howard McMinn manzanita Howard McMinn manzanita (Arctostaphylos 'Howard McMinn')
Blue flax lilly, Paroo lily, Blueberry lily Blue flax lilly, Paroo lily, Blueberry lily (Dianella caerulea)
Black Adder phormium Black Adder phormium (Phormium 'Black Adder')
Breeze mat rush Breeze mat rush (Lomandra longifolia 'Breeze')