Grevillea pinaster

Family: Proteaceae

Grevillea pinaster is usually a dense, upright shrub that to 3 metres tall by 3 metres wide.

It grows in Western Australia, on the coast from north of Perth, through Geraldton up to the Nerren Nerren area. It grows in coastal heathland and shrubland, on red sands to sandy clays and laterites.

Leaves are up to 6 centimetres long x about 0.3 cm wide, light green, narrow, flat and linear.

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 red to pink inflorescences, appearing predominantly from May to September. Each cluster is composed of 12 to 20 individual flowers and are about 6 cm across to 3 cm long.

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; bright red to pink and hairless.

The carpels are up to 2.5 cm long, red to pink, and tipped with a yellow pollen-presenter.

The fruit is a follicle, to 13 mm long and oblong in shape.

In the garden

Author’s notes:

In our cold climate garden, this plant reaches a height of one and a half metres. We also have a lower, spreading form that is less than one metre high.

Its ease of propagation, attractive, long-lasting flowers and the frequent visits of Eastern Spinebills to the nectar-rich blooms make Grevillea pinaster one of our favourite grevilleas.

Our specimens have red flowers. The flowering period extends for many months and in fact plants carry some blooms for most of the year. Plants appreciate an occasional light pruning.

The low, spreading form could be grown cascading down embankments.

This is reported to be a very reliable and hardy grevillea with beautiful pendant inflorescences. Plant in a sunny position on well-drained soils.


The species propagates readily from cuttings. This ease of propagation has allowed this beautiful species to be spread throughout our garden.

Other information

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.

pinaster – Latin meaning “wild pine”, “imitation pine” or “inferior pine”, referring to the pine-like foliage of the species.

This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.

Western Australian Herbarium: Florabase – The Flora of Western Australia –                                        Grevillea pinaster profile page https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/8838

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

Wikipedia – Grevillea pinaster profile page                                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea_pinaster

By Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke