This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Shrubs with unequally pinnate leaves and terminal or axillary racemes of dark purple flowers. Calyx gibbous and oblique at the base. Petals 5, excentric, one very small or wanting, decimate, narrow, on long claws, and hairy in the middle. Disk fleshy, one-sided. Stamens 4, hypogynous. Capsule membranous, 4-lobed, 4-celled; cells 1-seeded; seeds albuminous. About four species are known, all from South Africa. The name is from honey, and avOos, a flower, referring to the large quantity secreted in the flowers.
1. M. major. - An elegant shrub with glaucous coarsely toothed leaflets and huge spikes of dark purple flowers. This is killed to the ground every winter, but is nevertheless well suited for planting in sheltered situations.