Grevillea teretifolia

Family: Proteaceae

Grevillea teretifolia is an erect, medium shrub to about 2 metre tall, spreading to several metres wide.

It is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia, growing from around Geraldton in the north, extending south-east at about 100-200 km inland, extending out to Kalgoorlie and south to near the coast between Albany and Esperance.

It grows in mallee-shrublands and heathland, in sand, sandy loam and laterite.

Leaves are heavily dissected (pinnatisect), usually in three segments which each segment forming linear and tubular parts, with each leaf ending in 3 points; prickly; overall leaves to 50 mm long, by about 30 mm wide, dark green.

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 bit of a mixture of Group 2 and 3, with flowers are carried in pendulous, one-sided clusters, white, sometimes pink and appear in profusion during spring.

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 perianths are up to 1 cm long; white-cream.

The carpels are up to 2 cm long, white-cream with a white pollen presenter.

The follicle is oval to oblong follicle, to 15 mm long.

In the garden

A very nice shrub that is known to be cultivated.

Grevillea teretifolia could be grown as a screen, hedge or for controlling foot traffic.

Light pruning, after flowering, is appreciated. Honeyeaters are attracted to the flowers. Specimens, in our cold climate garden (near Armidale), have proved to be extremely tolerant of drought and frost.

It grows well on a well-drained sandy in full sun, in low-humidity environments.

Seed is available online.


Propagate from cuttings.

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”.

Killed by fire and relies entirely on seed that is stored in the soil for regeneration. 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.

teretifolia Latin meaning “tubular-foliage”, referring to the tubular segments of the leaves. The type specimen was collected by James Drummond, in the mid 1800’s, in the vicinity of the Swan River, Western Australia.

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

Western Australian Herbarium (1998–). Florabase—the Western Australian Flora:                        Grevillea teretifolia profile page https://florabase.dbca.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/2104

Wikipedia – Grevillea teretifolia profile page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea_teretifolia

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