Grevillea ‘Parakeet Pink’

(cultivar)

Family: Proteaceae

A compact shrub growing to 1.5 x 1.5 metres.

The parentage has not been ascertained for the purposes of this profile.

It has the typical leaf structure of many similar cultivars, to about 20 cm long, to 15 cm wide, strongly divided (pinnatisect) resulting in long linear and opposed segments to about 0.5 cm wide; The lower sides are covered with silvery hairs, contrasting strongly from the upper side.

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 a cylindrical raceme with inflorescences to about 15 cm long by 8 cm wide. They are soft-pink with tinges of yellow, and can be produced profusely, over most of the year. Inflorescences are grey-green in bud (adding contrast). Flowering mainly in winter and spring.

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.

The carpels are to 40 mm long, soft-pink with yellow tips. The perianths are also pink.

In the garden

The attraction with this grevillea is its comparatively small height – up to 1.5 metres tall and wide. Hence, it can easily be kept in check and pruned to shape. Prune lightly to shape and encourage flowering as well as to control its form.

Reported to be hardy once established, tolerates a range of soils so long as drainage is adequate. Supplementary watering will promote vigour and flowering.

Excellent for open medium and large beds, to create height and structure and to attract 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”.

This cultivar is likely very similar to several other cultivars which have been known to cause allergic contact dermatitis for certain individuals who come into contact with it, so caution is advised.

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.

‘Parakeet Pink’- named for the colour of the inflorescences.

https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/grevillea-parakeet-pink-grevillea/

https://www.homedesigndirectory.com.au/gardening/plant-finder/plant-descriptions/grevillea/parakeet-pink/?plant-id=763

By Dan Clarke