Grevillea 'White Wings'


Family: Proteaceae

A shrub that grows to 3 metres with a spreading habit to several metres wide. Branches can be erect as well as spreading down or arching towards the ground.

This cultivar is thought to be a cross between the WA species Grevillea curviloba and another WA species. Grevillea curviloba grows very well on the East Coast and has been a popular grevillea to grow.

It has leaves which are heavily dissected / split into two or three trident-like segments which is very attractive (resembling leaves of some Isopogon or Lomatia spp.) Leaves are mid green to about 5 cm long and wide and the segments have prickly points. The foliage is produced densely on the stems.

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 short ovoid raceme, with inflorescences to about 5 centimetres long by 5 centimetres wide with multiple racemes produced on the same flowering branch. They are pure white and produced in the leaf axils as well as in the terminals.

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 carpels are to 30 mm long, white with yellow tips. The perianths are also bright white.

In the garden

A very attractive plant for a garden situation with well-drained soil and full sun or part shade. It is reported to grow well on the East Coast. It is reportedly a hardy shrub if soil drainage is adequate and can flower profusely which has given it much popularity.

It can produce a lot of branches which shoot towards the ground, providing foliage towards the base which is very useful and can be trained as a “spill-over”. Works well as a screening plant. Requires moderate pruning to achieve a desired shape.


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.

White Wings’ – named for the manner in which the white inflorescences emerge from the stems.

Australian Native Plants – Grevillea ‘White Wings’ profile page    https://www.australianplants.com/plants.aspx?id=1269

Oz Native Plants – Grevillea ‘White Wings’ profile page https://www.oznativeplants.com/plantdetail/zz/Grevillea/zz/cv-White-Wings.html

By Dan Clarke