Grevillea georgeana

None

Family: Proteaceae

A shrub to 2.5 metres in height.

It is endemic to Western Australia, occurring in the hills and mountains between Koolyanobbing and Diemals, in the Coolgardie and Murchison regions.

It grows in open shrub associations in well-drained situations in shallow stony soils on ironstone.

Leaves to 7 cm long, which are strongly divided twice or three times into rigid linear segments which are prickly with sharp points, forming a width about 4 cm.

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 shortly cylindrical inflorescences, to about 7 cm long to 6 cm wide, bright pinkish-red with cream terminals, sometimes completely yellow-cream in some forms, flowering mainly in July to January but may produce outside these months as well.

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, bright red to pink with red-pink tips.

The perianths are bright pink-red with cream tips.

The follicle is about 1 cm long with hairs.

In the garden

A very attractive plant for the flowers and the heavily dissected foliage.

Can be grown in an open sunny spot on a fast draining soil.

Author’s note: one grafted plant has been planted a Sydney garden. The plant is grafted as this species is not reliable on the humid east coast on its own roots. The plant is close to 10 years old, growing in heavy dry soil and receives sun most of the day. It is a reliable flowering plant. The flowers are greatly appreciated as they are held nearly vertical towards the end of the branches as many desert Grevilleas do, to attract the limited pollinators. It does not really attract honeyeater birds as the foliage may be too sharp.

Each year, pruning is undertaken to reduce the plant to about 1.5 m tall as it has been observed that lack of pruning results in plants becoming very straggly and it is not known if it will regenerate from very old wood.

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.

In the wild it regenerates is from seed.

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”

In Western Australia Its conservation status is listed as near threatened

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.

georgeana – this species was first formally described by Donald McGillivray in 1986 after Alex George (1939 – ) an Western Australian botanist who has undertaken a lot of work on Proteaceae species.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea
https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://id.biodiversity.org.au/taxon/apni/51300170
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/online-resources/flora/stddisplay.xsql?pnid=45676

By Jeff Howes