Grevillea 'Bronze Rambler'


Family: Proteaceae

A low growing, ground-covering shrub, to 50 cm tall but it may spread to over 5 metres. It grows mainly horizontally and will even hang pendulously over a wall.

This cultivar was introduced by W and L Wilson from Moe South in Victoria, in the 1980s. It is reported to be a hybrid between G. rivularis (the threatened Carrington Falls Grevillea) and G. ‘Poorinda Peter’.

It has strongly divided (pinnatisect) leaves to 15 cm long and to 9 cm wide with opposite, linear-trident segments about 0.5 cm across. The segments have prickly tips. The new growth has a bronze-red colour.

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 cultivar has tooth-brush inflorescences, to about 10 cm long by about 2 cm wide. They are bright red-pink with tinges of dark burgundy and yellow. They are also rusty-brown in bud which creates a beautiful contrast. It flowers for most of the year.

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, the carpels are to 30 mm long, bright red with yellow tips. The perianths are red to dark burgundy-purple.

The characteristics of the follicles are unknown.

In the garden

A fast growing and very attractive, as well as, useful shrub with its ground-covering habit. It is reported to be very useful in difficult spots and where weeds need to be suppressed. Grow in an open sunny to part-shade position with some room to spread out. Reported to be hardy once established, additional watering will promote flowering. It is very useful for open slopes and banks. Can also be used to spill-over walls.

Prune lightly to control and create density as well as to promote flowering. Best grown on sandy soils with good drainage but may cope with a heavier soil. It is drought and frost tolerant.

Excellent bird and insect attractor. Will also provide habitat for lizards and other fauna.


Grevilleas are propagated by three principal methods; seed, cuttings and grafting. 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

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”.

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.

‘Bronze Rambler’ – named for the bronze-red colour of the new foliage.

Australian Cultivar Registration Authority – Grevillea ‘Bronze Rambler’ profile page https://acra.biodiversity.services/info/rdetail/888 

Gardening with Angus – Grevillea ‘Bronze Rambler’ profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/grevillea-bronze-rambler-grevillea/

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

By Dan Clarke