Grevillea molyneuxii

Wingello Grevillea

Family: Proteaceae

A low spreading shrub to 1 m tall. Restricted to a small area in the southern highlands of NSW, viz. south of Penrose, above Tallowa Gully and Bundanoon Creek, in Morton National Park and on Crown Land.

Grows in low sclerophyll heathland on sandstone, where it grows in skeletal soil on flat, wet sandstone shelves above incised valleys. It is a listed threatened species.

Leaves are up to 4 cm long by 0.4 cm wide, usually with a sharp tip or mucro. The leaf margins are curved downwards, sometimes obscuring much of the lower surface.

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 bright reddish to red-pink inflorescences appearing all year. Each cluster is composed of 10 to 12 individual flowers and measures 3 cm long overall. Most of the flowers are orientated to one side. The female parts (carpels) are around 2 cm long. Flowering occurs all year.

The fruit is a follicle, hairless, 1 to 2 cm long.

In the garden

Being a threatened species, there are no readily available cultivation details. It is also a plant likely to be hard to source. However, enquiries could be made at local native nurseries in the southern highlands and elsewhere.

In a garden situation Grevilleas are good bird-attracting plants.

May grow well on sandy soils if plants can be sourced.

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 Nation 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”

Plants are killed by fire but seem to regenerate readily from seed in open spaces. Very young plants have been observed to flower so the species is probably well adapted to fire.

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.
molyneuxii – honours the work of renowned Australian horticulturist William Mitchell Molyneux (1935 – ) who, with his wife Sue Forrester, ran a pioneering nursery in Montrose, Victoria, that specialised in native plant breeding. Their flagship cultivar, Banksia ‘Birthday Candles’ (a cultivar of Banksia spinulosa), became the highest-selling native plant in Australia.

This species is threatened with extinction and listed as threatened (vulnerable) under State legislation; and (endangered) under Commonwealth legislation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea
https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedSpeciesApp/profile.aspx?id=10371
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea_molyneuxii
https://apps.lucidcentral.org/plants_se_nsw/text/entities/grevillea_molyneuxii.htm

By Jeff Howes, edited Dan Clarke