Grevillea 'Ivanhoe'


Family: Proteaceae

A large shrub that grows to potentially to 5 metres high by 5 metres wide. This cultivar is reported to be a hybrid between Grevillea longifolia and Grevillea caleyi, two coastal NSW species that are both rare and threatened respectively.

It has quite unique leaves, up to 10 cm long and 3 cm wide, with regular teeth-like segments which are to 2 cm long and about 0.5 cm wide. The overall leaves are prickly with sharp points.

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 toothbrush inflorescences (like its parents) to about 6 cm long by 3 cm wide. They are pink-red and can be produced profusely, mainly in winter-spring and into summer.

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 40 mm long, pink-red with yellow-tips. The perianths are deep pink-red.

In the garden

This cultivar has been in use for a considerable time and has proved popular.
A very attractive plant for a garden situation with an adequately-drained soil and full sun to part shade.

It is reportedly a very hardy shrub on a range of soil types. Can tolerate regular pruning and works well as a screen plant.

It can cope without supplementary watering, although plants will flower much more heavily if watered. Also somewhat frost tolerant and can cope with periodically wet soils.

It can flower very heavily, creating a spectacular show, and is great for attracting birds, especially parrots as well as smaller nesting birds. The foliage is also desired in the floristry industry.


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.

Ivanhoe’ – named for the suburb in Melbourne where the hybrid-seedling was first observed and cultivated.

Gardening with Angus – Grevillea ‘Ivanhoe’ profile page        https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/grevillea-ivanhoe-grevillea/

Australian National Botanic Gardens – Australian Cultivar registration Authority –                                Grevillea ‘Ivanhoe’ profile page                                                    https://www.anbg.gov.au/acra/descriptions/acc380.html

Windyridge – Grevillea ‘Ivanhoe’ profile page                                  https://www.grevilleas.com.au/grev15.html

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

By Dan Clarke