Grevillea 'Honey Jo'


Family: Proteaceae

A cultivar registered by Carol and Brian Roach on behalf of the ANPS Grevillea Study Group. Originally, a single plant was purchased by Carol and Brian Roach approximately 30 years ago, and consequently discovered to be incorrectly labelled as Grevillea ‘Poorinda Hula’.

Thought to be hybrid between G. sericea and G. linearifolia. The inflorescences and foliage are similar to G. sericea. The main feature of G. ‘Honey Jo’ is the strong perfume of the inflorescences which G. sericea, on its own, is not noted to have.

A moderately dense, compact medium shrub 2 metres high by 1.5 metres wide.

Leaves linear, up to 50 mm long by 3 mm wide, apex acute, light green above.

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).

This cultivar is one of the spider-flowers. The inflorescences are about 25 mm in diameter, grading from deep pink at base to light pink, occurring prolifically from September to April, strongly perfumed.

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, carpels are about 2 cm long, and light pink with deeper pink tips. Perianths are also light pink.

In the garden

Has been in cultivation for over 20 years. Suitable for most well drained soils in full sun or dappled shade. Will likely grow best on a sandy soil.

Drought and frost hardy. Bird and insect attractant. Very attractive to European Honeybees and native bees as well.


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 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.

‘Honey Jo’ – is named in honour of Carol and Brian Roach’s daughter, Johanna Roach.

Australian National Botanic Gardens – Australian Cultivar registration Authority –                                Grevillea ‘Honey Jo’ profile page                                https://www.anbg.gov.au/acra/descriptions/acc1275.html

Australian Native Plants Society – Canberra – Grevillea ‘Honey Jo’ profile page                   http://sunlitplains.com.au/labels/Grevillea_2762.html

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke