A groundcovering low shrub to about 0.3 m tall and spreading to 3 m wide. It is a naturally occurring hybrid of Grevillea acanthifolia subsp. acanthifolia and Grevillea laurifolia originating in the Blue Mountains of NSW.
Grevillea acanthifolia subsp. acanthifolia grows in the Blue Mountain of NSW (north of Lithgow to south of Katoomba) in swampy areas or on wet rocks and is a shrub to 3 m tall (see profile).
Grevillea laurifolia also grows in the Blue Mountains and is a prostrate trailing shrub, spreading to 6 m wide (see profile).
Grevillea x gaudichaudii has adopted traits of both species, with a prostrate habit and lobed leaves. It is fast growing and grows to 0.2 to 0.3 m high and to 5 m in diameter. Most records of it are in the Lithgow-Katoomba-Bell area of NSW.
Leaves are up to 10 cm long and 5 cm wide, and multi-lobed / divided, reminiscent of oak leaves. They are dark green and have a reddish tint in cold weather and on the new growth. Leaves are a very attractive feature.
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 hybrid-taxon has the tooth-brush inflorescences (in the same fashion as both parents) are a vibrant pink-red in colour and occur in spring and summer.
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 hybrid-taxon, the perianths have rusty hairs outside, hairless inside, resulting in a brown appearance when in bud. They open pink-red in colour. The carpels are to 7 mm long. The style is white in the lower half, lilac in the upper half and hairless.
The nature of the follicles is unknown.
A great ground-covering grevillea and it is popular in cultivation. It has bronze coloured new growth on the oak-like and naturally dense foliage.
It is fast growing and plant can spread to 3 metres wide, making it a useful and weed-smothering plant for larger landscape gardens.
Grows best in dry moderate loam in full sun. It is drought and frost resistant.
Plants can usually be readily sourced.
In a garden situation, Grevilleas are good bird-attracting plants.
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.
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 is a diverse genus of about 365 species with about 357 occurring in Australia. Some species occur in New Caledonia, Indonesia and New Guinea. NSW currently has about 85 species although with a lot of subspecies and some informal taxa recognised.
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.
x gaudichaudii – named after Charles Gaudichaud-Beaupré (1789–1854) who was a French botanist and collected plants in Australia between 1817 and 1820. The description of this taxon by Robert Brown was published in 1827 in a botanical account of the voyage by Gaudichaud. The ‘x’ ,means that the taxon is of hybrid origin.
This hybrid is not considered to be at risk of extinction in the wild. It now exists mostly in cultivation
NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Grevillea x gaudichaudii profile page https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Grevillea~x+gaudichaudii
Gardening with Angus – Grevillea x gaudichaudii profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/grevillea-gaudichadii/
Wikipedia – Grevillea gaudichaudii profile page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grevillea_%C3%97_gaudichaudii