Grevillea ‘Jelly Baby’

(cultivar)

Family: Proteaceae

Grevillea ‘Jelly Baby’ is a dense, silver grey, low spreading shrub to 0.4 metres high and to 1 metre wide. 

G. ‘Jelly Baby’ was a chance seedling which arose at the property of Neil and Wendy Marriott at Panrock Ridge in the Black Range, near Stawell in Victoria.

It is thought to be a hybrid between the Grevillea alpina type form from the Black Range in Victoria, and the G. lavandulacea Tanunda form (a South-Australian species). Unlike G. lavandulacea, G. ‘Jelly Baby’ has broad soft oval leaves. and has the large flowers of G. alpina but the colour is bright pink-red and white.

Leaves are soft, oval, and grey-blue in colour, to about 30 mm long and about 6 mm wide.

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 one is one of the spider-flowers. The inflorescences are to 30 mm in diameter, pink-red and white. Flowering occurs June to November.

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.

Carpels to 15 mm long, pink-red with yellow tips. Perianths are red-pink with white tips.

In the garden

The author has had a few of these growing for 3 or so years, and while not fast growing, they are hardy in a small, raised bed. They flower well and are quite heathy. This is despite the fact, that there has been no success with G. alpina plants in this dry Sydney garden with loamy soil. It is suspected that the Grevillea lavandulacea parentage helps in this regard.

The soft grey-green foliage and pink/reddish flowers make a very attractive plant, visually.

Is frost and drought hardy.

It is an ideal container plant for balconies and patios due to its small size.

It is a readily available nursery plant.

Attracts honeyeating birds and insects.

Propagation

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 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.

‘Jelly Baby’ – named by the Marriotts in memory of a family dog ‘Jelly’ which was small and attractive like this cultivar.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea
https://www.anbg.gov.au/acra/descriptions/acc1254.html

 

By Jeff Howes