Grevillea ‘Fireworks’

Cultivar

Family: Proteaceae

Grevillea ‘Fireworks’ is a small shrub growing to about 1 x 1 metre. It is a resulting deliberate cross between Grevillea ‘Pink Pixie’ and Grevillea alpina by Peter James Ollerenshaw, Bywong, NSW. It was registered in June 2007.

Leaves are linear, 1 to 2 cm long and about 0.3 cm wide, soft and blue-green in 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 species has spider-inflorescences, to about 3 cm long by 3 cm wide, bright red and yellow, produced mainly in autumn and spring.

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 30 mm long, bright red-pink with white hairs and yellow tips.

The perianths are also bright red with yellow terminals.

In the garden

A very nice and useful shrub to grow. It is a useful plant in rockeries or containers, as well as a range of landscape beds.

It is both frost and drought tolerant once established. Needs a well-drained soil to do well but will cope with a range of soil types.
Prune lightly to get a nice rounded and dense shape and to promote flowering.

Author’s note: plants were grown in a dry Sydney garden on a heavy subsoil. The plants were short-lived which can be a feature of cultivars with G. alpina as a parent. However, this parent has produced some very nice cultivars.
It flowers prolifically from autumn which is an added attraction. Bird and bee attracting.

Propagation

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

The most similar variety is G. ‘Bonny Prince Charlie’. This variety has an upright habit, entire leaves, small terminal inflorescences that are mainly red in colour but having yellow limbs. It is the only commercial variety that has these characteristics.

Grevillea flowers were a traditional favourite among First Nations People 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.

‘Fireworks’ – named for the ‘explosion’-like flower colour when flowering occurs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea
https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/grevillea-fireworks-grevillea/

By Jeff Howes