Grevillea jephcottii is an open shrub with an upright growth habit, to 3 metres tall by 2 metres wide.
This plant is rare and found in small areas mostly in the Burrowa-Pine Mountains National Park in north-eastern Victoria, between Walwa and Corryong.
It is listed as threatened in Victoria.
It grows in dry sclerophyll woodland in rocky situation on granite.
The leaves are light green, hairy, to 4 cm long, and to 1 cm wide with a slight twist.
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 light cream-green inflorescences, about 3 x 3 cm long, appearing predominantly from late winter to spring. Each cluster is composed up to 8 individual flowers. The inflorescence darken as they age, to an almost black colour.
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 up to 2 cm long; cream-green.
The styles are up to 15 mm long, purple in colour, and tipped with a green pollen-presenter.
The follicles are hairy.
Grevillea jephcottii is a handsome shrub with attractive foliage and unusual flowers. We have found the species to be hardy, free flowering, has low water requirements once established and very tolerant of frosts.
Pruning, after flowering, will keep plants dense and blooming bounteously.
Plant in a sunny spot with good drainage.
Propagate from seed or cuttings of young firm growth.
The species is said to be a trifle “promiscuous” and may hybridise with other grevilleas in the garden. For this reason, cutting propagation is preferable to ensure plants are true to type. We find cuttings strike readily.
The species has been cultivated successfully in the UK and USA.
In the wild, Grevillea jephcottii is known to hybridise with a form of G. lanigera that also grows on Pine Mountain.
The type specimen was collected on the south-west slopes of Pine Mountain, Upper Murray region of Victoria in 1964.
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.
jephcottii – named after the Jephcott family of Ournie, in NSW just across the Murray River from Pine Mountain. A 14-year old family member, Sydney Jephcott, discovered the plant in 1878.
This species is listed as threatened with extinction in the wild in Victoria, with the category of ‘endangered’.
Australian National Herbarium – Grevillea jephcottii profile page https://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/interns-2005/grevillea-jephcottii.html
VicFlora – Flora of Victoria Online – Grevillea jephcottii profile page https://vicflora.rbg.vic.gov.au/flora/taxon/4eb1dfb3-ac36-4cfe-8007-75b8fee9fbcb
Wikipedia – Grevillea jephcottii profile page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea_jephcottii