Grevillea granulifera is a shrub that grows naturally in two forms; one is a rounded shrub to two metres tall. The other is a tall, upright shrub reaching a height of up to 5 metres.
It is a NSW species, growing on the north coast, northern tablelands and into the central western slopes of NSW. It grows in one area, from Wingham to Barrington Tops and to Wollomombi Falls (taller form). A disjunct population then occurs east of Armidale (smaller, rounded form).
It grows in open forest and woodland, on rocky soils and serpentinite, as well as granite.
Leaves are elliptical, up to 6 cm long and 1 cm wide, mid-green above and granular, with silvery hairs below.
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 best meets the spider-flower type, with dark pink-red and white inflorescences appearing predominantly from September to January. Each cluster is composed of 12 to 16 individual flowers and measures up to 5 cm wide x 2 cm long overall.
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 species, the perianth is up to 1 cm long; dark pink to red with white tones at the top.
The carpels are up to 2.5 cm long, red to burgundy to green in colour, with white hairs, and tipped with a green pollen-presenter.
The fruit is a follicle, hairy and with prominent ribs.
This species is known to be cultivated but is a relatively newly discovered species and so has not been in cultivation overly long.
A nice plant to use as a gap filler. Check with local native nurseries for availability.
Found naturally on rocky sites and granite soils, and so may need good drainage to do well.
Plant in an open sunny position for best results. Prune after flowering to create a denser bush and promote more flowers.
Both forms propagate readily from cuttings.
The type specimen comes from Mt. George near Taree and was named in 1994.
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 copping 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.
granulifera – Latin – granuli meaning “granules” and –fero meaning “bear” or “carry” – referring to the granules on the upper surface of the leaves.
This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.
NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Grevillea granulifera profile page https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Grevillea~granulifera