Grevilleas are a member of the Protea family and are probably the most widely cultivated Australian plant in our gardens as they grow easily, are attractive and provide food for many of our most beautiful birds. Flowers are small and are grouped together to form an inflorescence of between 50 and 100 flowers in the more showy forms used as cut flowers. Flowers consist of long stigmas tipped with pollen that form loops, then poke out of the sheath as the flower ages. Flowers open from the base of the inflorescence upwards. Common colours include red, orange, yellow or cream, which is rarer.
Grevilleas are grown outdoors in plantations in WA, SA Vic, NSW and QLD
What to look for
- 1/3 to 1/2 of lower flowers should have looped or extended stigmas;
- Shake branches and avoid those with flower drop.
- No sign of leaf yellowing.
- Keep cool whenever possible.
- Break bunches apart.
- Strip leaves from the lower half of each stem.
- Recut at least 2 cm off each stem with sharp secateurs and place in water immediately.
- Preservative is essential – the sugar contained within a preservative will help buds to open and colour up.
- Replace water every day.
- Very sensitive to ethylene. Keep away from fruit, car exhausts and cigarette smoke.
Interesting Facts about this Flower
Named after Charles Francis Greville who was one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society in England in 1804. The first specimens were collected by Joseph Banks during his voyage with Captain Cook in 1768-71. Later, as Director of the Kew Gardens, Banks appointed a number of collectors to supply him with seed of Australian plants. The last appointee, Alan Cunningham supplied at least 16 Grevillea species to Banks (and his successor after his death in 1820).
There are now over 300 species in the genus, most of which are endemic to Australia but a few species occur in Papua New Guinea and islands to Australia’s north.
Botanical Name: Grevillea whiteana, G. sessilis, G. robusta
Common Names: Grevillea, Silky Oak, Spider Flower
Stem Length: 30 to 60 cm
Country of Origin: Australia
Available Colours: Cream, Orange, Red, Yellow