Grevillea ‘Forest Rambler’ is described as a sprawling shrub growing to potentially 1 m tall by 2 m wide. It can form a groundcover.
Grevillea ‘Forest Rambler’ is said to be a hybrid between Grevillea shiressii and one of the many forms of Grevillea juniperina.
Leaves are bright green and prickly, generally linear to elliptic (widest in the middle) to 4 cm long and 0.8 cm wide with a pointed tip.
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 at the terminals, beyond the foliage, which differs to the closely related Hakea.
This cultivar is a spider-flower type with unusual translucent pale purple-pink flowers, in clusters around 3 by 3 cm. Spring is the main flowering period although some flowers may appear at other times. The flowers are rich in nectar. The flower colour is reminiscent of Grevillea shiressii, giving weight to the theory that this species is 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, the carpels are deep yellow, to about 30 mm long; the perianths are pink to purple, about 10 mm long.
Grevillea ‘Forest Rambler’ is worthy of a place in the larger garden. Our plants are hardy, drought resistant, frost tolerant, free flowering and bird attracting. What more could be asked of a plant?
In our cold climate garden, the height-description is a trifle conservative. We have a 10-year-old specimen that is nearly 2 metres tall and 3 metres wide. This specimen is in a neglected part of the garden and has never been pruned. Other, better-maintained specimens are 1 metre tall and 2 metres wide.
Plant in an open sunny spot with good drainage. It may also grow in some shade. Not fussy about soil type.
All cultivars must be propagated from cuttings to maintain ‘true-to-type’ forms.
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”.
Most Grevillea species will regenerate from seed after fire but can produce coppicing shoots.
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.
‘Forest Rambler’ – likely named for the manner in which it grows.
Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.
Australian Plants Online – Grevillea ‘Forest Rambler’ sales page https://www.australianplantsonline.com.au/grevillea-forest-rambler.html