Grevillea ‘Amethyst’ is a hybrid whose parents are reported to be G. confertifolia and G. sericea. This is a case where the progeny exceeds some of the good points of both parents. It arose as a seedling in Bindelong Nursery, Wandin North, Victoria.
It is a small, rounded shrub, growing to 1 m x 1 m.
It has narrow and slightly prickly foliage, to 40 mm long and about 3 mm wide, mid to dark green.
A grevillea inflorescence is technically a cluster of paired flowers, termed a conflorescence with the overall structure forming a raceme-like appearance. Grevillea species exhibit 3 main inflorescence structures:
1. A cylindrical to ovoid raceme (with flowers emerging around a 360° radius)
2. A single-sided raceme (with flowers produced on only one side, resembling a tooth-brush)
3. A condensed or clustered raceme (usually as long as it is wide, with species referred to as the spider-flowers).
Grevillea produce the inflorescences mostly at the terminals, beyond the foliage, which differs to the closely related Hakea.
This cultivar is a spider-flower, with clusters of flowers carried on the ends of branches. Flowering can be en masse, with showy, mauve inflorescences in spring. Sporadic flowering occurs at other times.
Individual flowers are composed of 1 carpel (female part) where the style and stigma protrude out; 4 stamens hidden away in the perianth; and the perianth (petals and sepals collectively) which connects to a pedicel. Proteaceae flowers do not have any discernible petals or sepals (having only one whorl) and so these are referred to as “tepals” of which there are 4. In this cultivar, flowers are to 1.5 cm long, generally mauve to deep pink to pink, in colour.
The characteristics of the follicles is unknown.
A popular cultivar which is reported to be hardy. It grows well in full sun to part shade on a well-draining soil. It can be pruned to a low bun – creating a plant broader than tall and can flower very heavily. It will attract bees.
When in flower in our cold climate garden, Grevillea ‘Amethyst’ is one of our most eye-catching plants. The mauve flowers literally cover the plant.
Grevillea ‘Amethyst’ could be cultivated in a rockery or native cottage garden. This hardy hybrid could also be grown as the border to garden beds as a colourful substitute for the ubiquitous exotic box.
We feel that Grevillea ‘Amethyst’ flowers are brighter and more profuse than the blooms of either of the parents.
All cultivars must be propagated from cuttings to maintain ‘true-to-type’ form.
Grevillea flowers were a traditional favourite among First Nations Peoples of Australia for their sweet nectar. This could be shaken onto the hand to enjoy, or into a coolamon with a little water to make a sweet drink. They might be referred to as the original “bush lollies”.
Grevillea is a diverse genus of about 365 species with about 357 occurring in Australia. Some species occur in New Caledonia, Indonesia and New Guinea. NSW currently has about 85 species although with a lot of subspecies and some informal taxa recognised.
Grevillea – was named in honour of Charles Francis Greville, (1749-1809) an 18th-century patron of botany and co-founder of the Royal Horticultural Society. He was also a British antiquarian, collector and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1774 to 1790.
‘Amethyst’ – named for the colour of the inflorescences.
Australian Cultivar Registration Authority – Grevillea ‘Amethyst’ profile page https://acra.biodiversity.services/info/rdetail/579
Miss Tree – Grevillea ‘Amethyst’ profile page https://misstree.com.au/project/grevillea-amethyst-grevillea-sericea-x-confertifolia-amethyst/