Grevillea x semperflorens


Family: Proteaceae

Grevillea x semperflorens is an upright shrub that grows to about 2 metres tall by 2 metres wide.

It is a hybrid whose parents are said to be G. thelemanniana and a yellow-flowered form of G. juniperina (probably subsp. sulphurea).

The hybrid was found in a Plymouth (UK) garden in the late 1920s. The type specimen was collected from a plant growing in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Gardens, Wisley in Surrey, England in 1937.

The narrow leaves may be linear or divided into segments crowned with a sharp point, to about 5 cm long and only 0.2 cm wide.

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 spider-flower with orange-red-pink inflorescences, appearing most of, if not, all of the year. Each cluster is up to 7 cm wide by 4 cm long.

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 2 cm long; orange-cream to pink to red.

The carpels are up to 3 cm long, orange to pink to red, with a green pollen-presenter.

Fruit characteristics are unknown.

In the garden

Our plants are rarely without flowers. In fact the hybrid name means always flowering.

Our plants have proved to be hardy, very free flowering; frost resistant and once established have very low water requirements. An occasional light pruning is appreciated.

Grow in a sunny to partly-shaded spot for best results.


Propagation must be from cuttings to preserve the hybrid’s characteristics. We find that cuttings strike enthusiastically.

Other information

Grevillea x semperflorens was still growing in the Wisley Gardens in 1997 when a specimen was collected for the RHS herbarium.

The Mole Station Native Nursery, near Tenterfield NSW, is propagating this hybrid. Our original plant came from this source.

Grevillea x semperflorens was probably one of the first named grevillea hybrids.

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 copping 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.

x semperflorens – Latin – the “x” indicates this plant has come from hybrid origins; semperflorens means “always blooming” – not an overly descriptive name but one likely applied due to the frequent flowering of this hybrid.

Burringbar Rainforest Nursery – Grevillea x semperflorens profile page https://burringbarrainforestnursery.com.au/plant-search/grevillea-x-semperflorens/

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