Grevillea 'Sandra Gordon'


Family: Proteaceae

A tree that grows to 5 metres (potentially 8 metres) high by 5 metres wide.

As for Grevillea ‘Honey Gem’, this cultivar is reported to be a hybrid between Grevillea sessilis (a Queensland species) and G. pteridifolia (a Queensland and NT species).

It has deep green, strongly divided leaves with spreading lobes, to about 20 cm long by 7 cm wide, with linear segments only 0.4 cm across. 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 12 cm long by 8 cm wide. They are bright deep yellow and can be produced profusely, over most of the year. Inflorescences are grey-green in bud (adding more contrast).

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, deep yellow with green tips.

In the garden

A very attractive plant for a garden situation with a well-drained soil and full sun. However, it may also do well on heavier soils.

It is reportedly a very fast growing and hardy shrub. It can grow to 8 metres, so active pruning is advised in most situations, from an early stage. Can tolerate hard pruning. Plants that are several metres tall can be cut back to about 1 metre tall to refresh the plant and provide new dense growth. Works well as a screening plant.

It can cope without supplementary watering, although plants will flower much more heavily if watered. Frost tolerant.

Very good cut flower, harvest when the inflorescence is in bud rather than full-flowered. The inflorescences are of a good large size and are produced all year around. It can flower very heavily, creating a spectacular show, and is great for attracting birds.

This cultivar has previously held the position “Best Selling Australian Shrub”.


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 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.

Sandra Gordon’ – named after the daughter of David Gordon AM (1899-2001); the founder of Myall Park Botanic Garden at Glenmorgan, Queensland. Gordon was an Australian native plant breeder and expert, as well as, conservationist.

Gardening with Angus – Grevillea ‘Sandra Gordon’ profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/grevillea-sandra-gordon-grevillea/

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 Dan Clarke