Grevillea ‘Spider Mist’

(cultivar)

Family: Proteaceae

This is a medium-size compact rounded shrub that typically grows up to a height of 2 metres by 2 metres wide.  It has been brought into cultivation by member Brian Roach from a seedling in his garden.

It has leaves and form similar to  i but the flowers are more like those of G. ‘Fireworks’ (a small upright shrub to one metre).

Its particular attribute is as a hedging plant with foliage naturally continuing to ground level.

Leaves are green on the upper surface and an attractive grey-green in colour on the underside, alternating up the stem, lanceolate to linear, to 35 mm long and to 8 mm wide with a pointed tip.

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)

This is one of the spider-flower cultivars, with terminal inflorescences to 4 x 6 cm, produced at the terminals, from July to September.

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.

Carpels are about 2 cm long, and yellow with yellow tips. The perianths are red which makes an attractive combination.

In the garden

Suitable for an average suburban garden where its soft green foliage makes an attractive plant when not in flower.

The author has two of these plants growing in his suburban garden, both receive morning sun and only dappled afternoon sun and little additional watering in dry spells. They grow and flower well in this situation.

It is a hardy shrub that can be cut back hard with no problems of not reshooting. The author undertakes hard pruning every few years to prevent this plant growing too tall in his garden situation.

In flower, this grevillea attracts honeyeater birds.

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”

G. ‘Spider Mist’ was accepted for registration with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority (Number 1539) on 13 November 2015. The applicant was Brian Roach of Westleigh Native Plants. The application was made on behalf of the ANPSA Grevillea Study Group.

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.

‘Spider Mist’ – named by Brian Roach for its spider inflorescences combined with misty-grey foliage.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea
https://www.anbg.gov.au/acra/acra-list-2009.html
http://anpsa.org.au/grevSG/grev105.pdf
https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/a-passion-for-plants/11663738

By Jeff Howes