Foliage Friday: Grevillea

Last week, my housemate/landlord decided it was time to remove a couple of old rosemary bushes from the front of the house and replace them with something else.

Here’s the bed in the front of the house. He already removed one rosemary bush, which was planted on the left side of that tree. The rosemary on the right also came out.

In their place, he’s planting….

Grevillea!


Uh….what’s Grevillea? I hadn’t heard of this plant before.

Grevillea, named after Charles Francis Greville, co-founder of the Royal Horticultural Society, are evergreen trees or shrubs with needle or fern-like leaves and bright spider-like flowers. They are mostly native to Australia, which is a climate not dissimilar from California’s. They are super low maintenance and drought hardy when established.

Bonfire Red flowers. Image from: grevilleas.com.au

This particular variety of Grevillea – Bonfire Red – will be 8 to 10 feet tall by 6 to 8 feet wide when it is it’s mature size and will have coral red spider-like flowers at the branch tips in spring. The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies.

I’m not too keen on these plants. I think they look scraggly like the salvias and all the other drought-tolerant things that grow really well in this climate. But Grevillea are apparently amenable to bonsai, and I actually kind of like the look of them in this format….

Image from: www.anbg.gov.au