Grevillea 'Firesprite'


Family: Proteaceae

A shrub to 4 metres tall by 3 metres wide.

It is a deliberate hybrid between Grevillea longistyla (female) and Grevillea venusta (male).

The leaves are strongly pinnatisect – divided into fine segments, to 25 cm long by 10 cm wide., dark green to blue-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 mostly produce the inflorescences at the terminals, beyond the foliage, which differs to the closely related Hakea.

This cultivar has a cylindrical raceme, with inflorescences up to 12 centimetres long by 8 centimetres wide. They are an intersting mixture of purple, red, and yellow / green-yellow / light-green.

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 40 mm long, dark red to purple. The perianths area mixture of red and yellow-green to light green.

In the garden

Author’s notes:

Grevillea ‘Firesprite’ is a great feature plant OR a screen plant if you require something other than the many varieties of the native Lillypillies. It is also a great bird attracting plant and flowers in spring. I have also seen many of them planted in Perth, so it is versatile.

Many years ago (well about ten), in my northern Sydney suburban garden, I planted my first Grevillea ‘Firesprite’ My plant has now grown into a large shrub about 4 m high x 3 m wide with a mid-dense habit.

I am growing it in a position that receives sun nearly all day and is planted in a thin layer of soil over a clay base. Despite receiving no supplementary water from me, it thrives and is far too large for the position I planted it — on the nature strip. However it is quite happy to be pruned back hard and after doing this, it regrows quickly. It is also reported to be moderately drought and frost hardy.

Maintenance. None to speak off except for the occasional prune to keep it in check.


Must be propagated from cuttings to maintain “true-to-type” forms.

Other information

Grevillea is a diverse genus of about 360 species of evergreen flowering plants native to rainforest and more open habitats in Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Sulawesi and other Indonesian islands east of the Wallace Line. NSW currently has about 85 species although with a lot of subspecies and some informal taxa recognised.

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 – 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.

‘Firesprite’ – named for the colour of the inflorescences.

Gardening with Angus – Grevillea ‘Firesprite’ profile page    https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/grevillea-firesprite-grevillea/

Australian Plants Online – Grevillea ‘Firesprite’ profile page https://www.australianplantsonline.com.au/grevillea-firesprite.html

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke