Grevillea 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'


Family: Proteaceae

Grevillea ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ is a dwarf, bushy shrub that reaches a height of 1 metre, spreading to 1 metre wide.

The parents of this hybrid, are G. alpina and a form of G. rosmarinifolia – developed by Bywong Nursery. This is one many hybrid natives developed by this nursery.

Leaves are alternate to spiral along the stems, oblong in shape, to about 4 cm long, dark green above and paler below.

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 profuse red and yellow inflorescences, about 5 cm wide by 2 cm long. They appear for lengthy periods. The blooms are similar in colour to those of G. alpina, one of the parents.

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 2 cm long, red and yellow in colour.

The follicle characteristics are unknown.

In the garden

Grevillea ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ could be grown as a colourful foreground specimen in native garden beds.

Prune lightly to promote dense growth and copious blooms. Honeyeaters are attracted to the flowers.

It is a hardy plant on a well-draining soil in part shade to full sun. Not overly fast growing.


Cultivars must be propagated by cuttings to maintain the true-to-type characteristics

Other information

Most grevilleas regenerate from seed after fire. Some can reshoot from buried rhizomes.

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.

‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ – reportedly named for Prince Charles (b. 1948-) now King Charles III of England (rather than Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788) – the original Bonnie Prince Charlie).

Australian Cultivar Resgitration Authority – Grevillea ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ profile page https://acra.biodiversity.services/info/rdetail/771

Gardening with Angus – Grevillea ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/grevillea-bonnie-prince-charlie-grevillea/

By Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke