Grevillea 'Golden Lyre'

Family: Proteaceae

A shrub reaching 2 to 3 metres high by up to 6 metres wide.

Grevillea ‘Golden Lyre’ is a hybrid originating from Fairhill Nursery in Queensland, between G. formosa (widespread in the Kakadu area of the Northern Territory) and G. ‘Honey Gem’ (a Queensland hybrid, common in cultivation).

Leaves are strongly pinnatisect with fine linear segments, to 25 cm long by 10 cm wide, dark 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 cylindrical racemes up to 25 cm long by 5 cm wide; deep yellow with hints of orange.

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 25 mm long, deep yellow with yellow tips. The perianths are orange-yellow.

In the garden

Author’s notes:

I have been growing this plant for about five years, in my garden in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh. In warmer areas, north of Sydney (it will not tolerate a situation that is cold and receives winter frosts), it can grow to approximately 2 to 3 metres high by up to 4 to 6 metres wide if given full sun and some summer moisture.

My plant is 1.5 metres high by about 3 metres wide and is stunning when it flowers during late summer and autumn. The many bright yellow terminal flowers can be up to 20 to 25 cm long and are literally dripping with honey.

To prevent my plant from growing too large, I prune it back hard in early spring.

If you have the space and would like to grow a plant that produces stunning yellow flowers, Grevillea ‘Golden Lyre’ is the one.


Must be propagated by cuttings to main “true-to-type” form.

Other information

Note: This cultivar, ‘Golden Lyre’, cannot be registered with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority as there is already a Grevillea ‘Poorinda Golden Lyre’ registered with them. Hence there is potential for confusion when making a purchase.

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.

‘Golden Lyre’ – likely named for the colour of the inflorescences.

Gardening with Angus – Grevillea ‘Golden Lyre’ profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/grevillea-golden-lyre-grevillea/

Australia Plants Online – Grevillea ‘Golden Lyre’ profile page https://www.australianplantsonline.com.au/grevillea-golden-lyre.html

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke