Grevillea rosmarinifolia ‘Lutea’ is a small shrub that is said to reach a height of 40 cm with a spread of 50 cm.
Not too much information is available online regarding its origins but reportedly it was selected from a population at Daylesford, Victoria. But it is a cultivar of the common G. rosmarinifolia.
Leaves are light green, 2 cm long, linear with a sharp point.
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 produce the inflorescences at the terminals, beyond the foliage, which differs to the closely related Hakea.
This cultivar is a spider-flower type. The inflorescences may be branched or unbranched, each branch bearing one to many flowers, lemon-yellow in colour. Flowering occurs mainly during spring, but occasionally in late winter or early summer (i.e. from August to December).
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 lemon-yellow and hairless (i.e. glabrous) or only slightly hairy (i.e. puberulent) and swollen near its tip. The perianths are also lemon-yellow – although more green in bud.
A common shrub in cultivation. It is usually readily sold at native nurseries
In our cold climate garden (near Armidale, NSW) 10-year old specimens are 1 metre tall with a 50 cm spread.
They grow well in full sun on sandy to heavier soils with adequate drainage. They are very frost-tolerant.
We first came across this cultivar in an Armidale native garden many years ago. We were attracted to the large flowers. Cuttings were freely given by the owner. Since then we have propagated many specimens and plants appear in many of our shrubberies.
Light pruning after flowering is appreciated.
This is an under-rated Grevillea. In our cold climate garden plants have proved to be hardy and free flowering.
Honeyeaters, especially Eastern Spinebills, are frequent visitors to the blooms in our garden.
All cultivars must be propagated from cuttings to remain true to type.
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 coppicing 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.
‘Lutea’ – Latin meaning ‘yellow’ – likely referring to the lemon-yellow inflorescences.
Australian Native Plants Society Australia – Grevillea rosmarinifolia profile page (with ‘Lutea’ listed) https://anpsa.org.au/plant_profiles/grevillea-rosmarinifolia/