Grevillea ‘Pick o’ the Crop’

(cultivar)

Family: Proteaceae

A low growing shrub to about 0.5 to 1 metre tall, spreading to 3 or more metres wide. It generally has a weeping dense habit.

This cultivar was introduced by Austraflora Nursery in Montrose, Victoria. It is a hybrid between G. bipinnatifida (a WA species) and G. thyrsoides (another WA species).

It has leaves to about 10 cm long x 5 cm wide, which have several features; they are green-grey due to presence of hairs and strongly divided (bi-pinnatisect) with the leaves divided into linear segments, with the segments divided again at the terminals into multiple lobes, with prickly tips, giving a fern-like appearance. The leaves also have a conspicuous arch or bend from bottom to top. The new growth is more grey than green.

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 tooth-brush inflorescences which tend to be wider at the base, to about 10 cm long by about 4 cm wide. They are mainly deep-red/pink with hues or burgundy and yellow. In bud, they are grey-green. It flowers mainly in winter to spring. The inflorescences hang down towards the ground, on top of the foliage.

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, dark pink to red with darker red tips. The perianths are also dark pink to red with some yellow markings.

In the garden

This very attractive shrub is marketed as a stunning plant, unique in its form. Advanced plants have a short, weeping habit which densely covers the ground, with inflorescences covering the foliage and weeping towards the ground on long shoots. It can spread to several metres wide and so lends itself to a wide range of landscapes. It has been bred for hardiness on a range of soils, in a range of climates.

Grow in an open sunny to part-shade position. Reported to be hardy once established. Additional watering will promote flowering.

However, it tolerates dry conditions. Not overly frost tolerant but is hardy to mild frost.

Prune lightly to tidy it up. Can be used as a low hedge. Also does well in a pot.

Great for attracting birds and for providing cover.

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.

‘Pick o’ the Crop’ – likely named for its reported outstanding qualities.

https://austraflora.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Austraflora-Plant-Grevillea-Pick-O%E2%80%99-The-Crop.pdf
https://www.flowerpower.com.au/grevillea-pick-of-the-crop-9336922025205

By Dan Clarke