Grevillea 'Pink Surprise'

Family: Proteaceae

Grevillea ‘Pink Surprise’ is a tall shrub, reaching 4 metres with spread exceeding 2 metres.

It is a hybrid whose parents are said to be Grevillea whiteana and Grevillea banksii (red form). The original seedling was found in a garden in a Brisbane suburb.

The leaves are strongly pinnatisect, with multiple, narrow lobes, shiny on the upper surface and up to 30 centimetres long, by 10 cm wide.

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 cylindrical racemes, to about 15 centimetres long by 5 centimetres wide, pink with long cream styles and attractive to honeyeaters.

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 cultivar, the carpels are to 30 mm long, cream with darker-yellow tips. The perianths are light to mid pink.

Blooms are carried for many months of the year.

In the garden

Author’s notes:

Grevillea ‘Pink Surprise’ is a beautiful shrub with spectacular flowers. This is one of several beautiful hybrid grevilleas whose parents are sub-tropical species. Both hybrids and parents would be frost sensitive and usually not considered for cultivation in frosty, cold climate gardens. Our Eastern Spinebills enjoy our Grevillea ‘Pink Surprise’ as much as we do.

Occasional light pruning is appreciated.

We succeed with Grevillea ‘Pink Surprise’ and other sub-tropical hybrids and species by growing them close to the northern walls of buildings and surround them with our usual dense shrubberies (in a garden near Armidale). Warmth radiated from the buildings and shelter from other plants has allowed these beautiful plants to survive, thrive and bloom bounteously in our garden.

Give plenty of room to spread out. Plant in a sunny spot for best results on a well-drained soil. Protect from frosts.


Must be propagated from cuttings to retain ‘true-to-type’ form.

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”.

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.

‘Pink Surprise’ – named for the colour of the inflorescences

Miss Tree – Grevillea ‘Pink Surprise’ profile page                                https://misstree.com.au/project/grevillea-pink-surprise-grevillea-whiteana-x-banksii-pink-surprise/

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

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