Grevillea vestita is a bushy shrub that can reach 5 metres tall by 4 metres wide. The species will reach the maximum height in more temperate regions.
It grows naturally on the west coast of WA, from around Bridgetown and Bussleton, north through Perth, to Kalbarri National Park. It grows on sandy to granite and limestone soils, in dry sclerophyll woodland and sanplain shrubland / heath.
Leaves are up to 6 cm in length by 3 cm wide, divided into 3 to 6 lobes; hairy. Each lobe is crowned with a pungent 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 mostly produce the inflorescences at the terminals, beyond the foliage, which differs to the closely related Hakea.
The flowers are white or pale pink, scented and held in axillary racemes. Blooms are both conspicuous, profuse and appear from July to October.
This species has shortly-cylindrical inflorescences which are produced in leaf axils, about 5 cm long and 3 cm wide, white to pale pink and scented; appearing predominantly from July to October.
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 perianth is up to 1 cm long; white to pale pink.
The carpels are up to 1 cm long, white to pale pink.
Follicle characteristics are unknown.
Reaches a height of two metres in our cold-climate garden.
It is reportedly a hardy shrub and can tolerate a range of soils. On the east coast, grafted forms are much better and should be used.
Plant in a sunny spot on a well drained sandy soil for best results. Can tolerate some frost and some humidity. Give some room to spread out.
Grevillea vestita propagates easily from cuttings.
Grafted plants are the best to use on the east coast – grafted onto Grevillea robusta typically.
The type specimen appears to have been collected in the King George Sound area in about 1841.
There are two subspecies Grevillea vestita ssp. vestita and G. vestita ssp. isopogoides. The latter subspecies has more deeply lobed leaves than the former. Our specimens appear to be ssp. vestita.
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.
vestita – Latin – meaning “dressed”, referring to plant parts been covered in hairs.
This species is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild.
Western Australian Herbarium: Florabase – The Western Australian Flora – Grevillea vestita profile page https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/browse/profile/2119
Wikipedia – Grevillea vestita profile page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea_vestita
Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.