Grevillea baueri

Bauer's Grevillea

Family: Proteaceae

A spreading to erect shrub to 2 metres tall. It is endemic to NSW and found naturally from around Hill Top, south to around Braidwood with much of its records in Bundanoon-Exeter and east of Nerriga. It is found growing in dry sclerophyll woodland or heath in sandy soils on sandstone.

Leaves are to 3 cm long and up to 1.5 cm wide, oblong-elliptic to ovate with entire margins which can be curved downwards a great deal. The leaves are arranged somewhat densely along the stem.

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 mostly produce the inflorescences at the terminals, beyond the foliage, which differs to the closely related Hakea.

This species is another of the spider-flowers with rich-red to pink inflorescences with cream or yellow tinges, produced in winter.

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.
The carpels are to 25 mm long and red with green tips.

The fruit is a follicle, about 1 cm long, usually hairy without dark stripes or blotches.

In the garden

This grevillea is a most desirable addition to the garden for its general hardiness and bright winter flowers and is a very variable plant. It is frost hardy and grows best in a position with reasonable drainage and in full sun or partial shade.
Can be pruned lightly to encourage a denser shape and more flowers but not a lot of pruning is necessary. It has a natural bushy form and so is useful as a ground-covering shrub with foliage right to the ground. It can also produce bronze new growth; an added feature.

In a garden situation these Grevilleas are good bird-attracting plants.

Propagation

Grevilleas are propagated by three principal methods; seed, cuttings and grafting. Tissue culture has also been used with a few species and cultivars but this is a more specialist method which is not of practical interest to most amateur growers. To maintain desirable characteristics of a particular plant, vegetative propagation (e.g. cuttings or grafting) must be used. This also applies to propagation of named cultivars.

Other information

Two subspecies are currently recognised in NSW:
Grevillea baueri subsp. asperula – with an open habit, with leaves to 10 mm wide and with the upper surface roughened by numerous granules. The inflorescences are branched and decurved; occurring in the south of the geographic range.
Grevillea baueri subsp. baueri – has a more dense and closed habit, leaves to 7 mm wide, with upper surface smooth except for occasional granules; The inflorescences are usually unbranched; occurring mainly in the north of the geographic range.

Grevillea flowers were a traditional favourite among First Nations Peoples 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”.

Most Grevillea species will regenerate from seed after fire but can produce coppicing shoots.

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.

baueri – in honour of the botanical artist Ferdinand Lukas Bauer (1760-1826), who was appointed botanical draughtsman to Matthew Flinder’s expedition and worked closely with Robert Brown on plant descriptions.

Not considered at risk in the wild.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea_baueri
https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Grevillea~baueri

By Jeff Howes, edited by Dan Clarke