Grevilleas

A great plant for our coastal climate!

Botanical Name: Grevillea sp. Common Name: Grevillea Family: Proteaceae Description: Grevillea is a member of the Protea family (Proteaceae). The name comes from Charles F. Greville (1749-1809), a founder of the Royal Horticulture Society. Grevillea is native to Australia, with over 250 species and hybrids available there. Grevillea are evergreen trees or shrubs.
The leaves of Grevillea range in shape from small, rigid and needle-like to broad, soft and pinnately lobed. The flowers are very small but they occur in clusters (an inflorescence) which, in some cases, may consist of 100 or more individuals. The two commonly recognized arrangements of inflorescences are the "spider" flower arrangement, in which the flower styles arise from a rounded inflorescence like the legs of a spider, and the "toothbrush" arrangement, in which the individual flowers are grouped into a short cluster along one side of the floral axis. Hummingbirds are particularly attracted to the red flowered species. Species with nectar-rich flowers attract many birds that act as pollinators. Cultivation: Grevillea need full sun and are drought tolerant; most need no water during the dry season. They should be fertilized only lightly; fertilizers with high phosphorus content should be avoided. They need good drainage and prefer slightly acid soil. They respond well to regular, annual pruning. Propagation: Grevillea may be propagated by seeds, cuttings, or grafting. They hybridize easily. Common Problems: Grevillea are deer resistant. However, borers may be a problem; the bore can be removed with a small wire or the bore hole should be waxed over. Sooty mold and scale may also be problems, although they rarely do serious damage.
Submitted by Master Gardener Karen Clayton, 2007.