Grevillea 'Ivory Whip'


Family: Proteaceae

A stunning open shrub growing to 1.5 metres tall x 3 metres wide.

It is a hybrid, introduced by Richard Tomkins at Changers Green Nursery in Queensland. The parentage has not been ascertained.

Leaves have the common heavily dissected make-up (pinnatisect) divided into thin linear segments, to 20 cm long overall to about 8 cm wide. The segments are only 0.2 to 0.3 cm wide 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 cylindrical racemes to about 15 cm long by 8 cm wide. They are creamy-white (ivory) with very light pink tinges and can be produced profusely beyond the foliage. Inflorescences are a grey colour in bud. It flowers all year round.

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, ivory-white with darker yellow-green tips. The perianths are ivory with tinges of pink.

In the garden

A very striking and popular grevillea, due to its almost white flower colour. It has the ability to be shaped into a small umbrella-like shrub where other plants can easily be grown underneath (like others in this group of cultivars). It will spread wider than tall. When plants are well-established and shaped, they are quite stunning in flower.

Works well as a feature plant, as a stand-alone in a lawn or other landscape, but can also be integrated with other plants. Likes a well-drained soil – will tolerate sand to clay loam. Responds to additional water.

Prune off dead flower heads and apply strategic pruning to shape and promote flowering, as well as creating density.

Plant in a sunny position to part-shade. It is not overly frost tolerant.


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.

‘Ivory Whip’– named for the ivory-white colour of the inflorescences.

Gardening with Angus – Grevillea ‘Ivory Whip’ profile page

Mallee Design – White Flowering Grevillea ‘Ivory Whip’ information page

Windyridge – Grevillea ‘Ivory Whip’ profile page

By Dan Clarke