Grevilleas are a mainstay of native plant nurseries. Honey gem, Sandra Gordon, Robyn Gordon and bronze rambler are just a few of the hybrid non-local native grevilleas that are present in many people’s gardens.
Local native grevilleas
Closer to home on the Sunshine Coast we do actually have a few local native grevilleas.
The Coochin hills grevillea (Grevillea hodgei) is a very rare shrub that grows to four metres and is found in areas of the Glasshouse Mountains. Rather spectacularly, it has large creamy white flowers up to 20cm in length.
We have three small shrubby grevilleas that grow between 30 centimetres and one metre in height, with pink flowers including Grevillea leiophylla, Grevillea reptans (from Cooloola North) and Grevillea humilis subsp. lucens (from Caloundra south). These 3 occur in similar habitats of heath and open forest and can flower over many months from spring to autumn.
Then of course we have our world famous silky oak (Grevillea robusta). It is perhaps the tallest of all the Grevilleas. These spectacular trees grow to 40 metres in height. They occur naturally in our western river systems but have been extensively logged for their valuable and durable timber. These forest giants are a great source of nectar for wildlife and their leaf litter is great for improving soils.
Another tree grevillea (up to 20 metres) that occurs in our drier rainforests is the white yeil-yeil (Grevillea hilliana). This is another spectacular tree with silvery undersides to its leaves and white flowers up to 30 centimetres.
Some of our local native grevillea are hard to get for your garden from native nurseries. However there’s plenty of opportunity for you to appreciate them in their natural setting in our native heathland and open forest woodland walks, so get walking and enjoy the view.
Article by Spencer Shaw