Grevillea iaspicula is a medium shrub to 2.5 m tall and spreading to 1 metre wide.
The Wee Jasper Grevillea is rare and is found only in southern NSW, in the Wee Jasper area and Lake Burrinjuck (about 40 km north-west of Canberra). It is listed as being threatened with extinction in the wild. There may only be about 100 plants in existence.
It grows on limestone soils, on rocky outcrops in dry sclerophyll woodland.
Leaves are light green, narrow-elliptic to oblong, to 35 mm long and 10 mm wide, without hairs and with a prominent mucro.
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 is a spider-flower with cream and pink inflorescences, appearing predominantly in Spring and possibly Autumn, measuring about 3 x 5 cm 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 cream/green and pink.
The carpels are up to 2 cm long, red with a yellow pollen presenter.
The fruit is a follicle, hairy without dark stripes or blotches.
Author’s notes: Grevillea iaspicula has proved to be frost hardy; drought tolerant and has low water requirements, once established.
It is known to be cultivated, despite its rareness in the wild. It is a species good for frost-prone gardens. It may not thrive in subtropical and tropical areas.
There was an interesting report in Australian Geographic, August 2017. This documented that Grevillea iaspicula flowered, in a nature reserve, for the first time in 20 years. We have found that our cultivated plants flower regularly annually.
Plant in part shade to full sun for best results and do not over water.
The Wee Jasper Grevillea propagates readily from cuttings. In fact, it is one of the easiest grevilleas to propagate.
Grevillea iaspicula was named in 1986 by D. J. McGillivray from material collected on a Wee Jasper property, southern NSW. One population was nearly lost due to roadworks but was saved in the nick of time. The species is still under threat from grazing sheep and goats also blackberry invasion is a problem.
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.
iaspicula – Latin – iaspis meaning “jasper” and –cula meaning “small” – referring to the locality of Wee Jasper.
This species is listed as being threatened with extinction in the wild at both the State and Commonwealth levels with the categories of endangered and critically endangered respectively.
NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Grevillea iaspicula profile page https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Grevillea~iaspicula
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage – Threatened Species Profiles – Grevillea iaspicula profile page https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspeciesapp/profile.aspx?id=10366
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 National Herbarium – Grevillea iaspicula profile page https://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/interns-2004/grevillea-iaspicula.html