Grevillea ‘Flamingo’

(cultivar)

Family: Proteaceae

A popular cultivar. It is a spreading to weeping shrub, growing to 3 x 3 metres and has can have a dense compact habit.

It is reportedly a hybrid between G. ‘Superb’ and G. ‘Moonlight’ and was created by Richard Tomkin at a nursery in Queensland (see those profiles for parentage notes; G. banksii is largely involved).

Leaves are of the typical cultivars which stem from G. banksii, to 20 cm or more long by up to 10 cm wide, strongly dissected (pinnatisect) with resulting narrow linear segments; dark green above and grey-silver below (covered with silvery hairs).

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 to about 20 cm long by 8 cm wide. They are bright pink with cream and yellow tinges and can be produced profusely over most of the year. Inflorescences are gold-orange in bud. Hence, when flowers start to open, the entire structure has a mixed flamingo-pink / gold colour. Inflorescences tend to weep down towards the ground.

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 40 mm long, white to cream, with darker yellow tips. The perianths bright pink.

In the garden

A usually hardy grevillea which has made it popular. Its weeping habit and ability to form dense foliage lends to its appeal. It does best in a sunny spot on a well-drained soil. It is not suited to arid and cold areas and needs some supplementary watering to do its best.

Works well as a feature plant, as a stand-alone in a lawn or other landscape, but can also be integrated with other plants. Useful for growing above other shorter evergreen shrubs to create layering and structure, as it will only provide light shade. It flowers all year round (depending on location), which makes it desirable.

Prune off dead flower heads and apply strategic pruning to shape and promote flowering. It can form a dense shrub and so is useful for screening and as informal hedges. May be pruned back hard if leggy.

It is reportedly an excellent cut flower. Harvest when buds are just starting to open.

It is great for attracting birds and insects.

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

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”.

This cultivar is very similar to several other cultivars which have been known to cause allergic contact dermatitis for certain individuals who come into contact with it, so caution is advised.

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.

‘Flamingo’- named for the colour of the inflorescences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea
https://www.grevilleas.com.au/grev51.html
https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/grevillea-flamingo-grevillea/
https://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/fact-sheets/in-the-garden/flowering-plants-shrubs/grevillea-flamingo/

By Dan Clarke