Common name: Scarlet Feather Flower
Family: MYRTACEAE (c. 150 Genera)
Origin of Scientific Name
Verticordia – Latin, an epithet of Venus, the Turner of Hearts, to whom the myrtle was sacred (plants from the MYRTACEAE family are commonly known as “myrtles”).
grandis – Latin = great or large, referring to the flowers, leaves and height of the plant.
A hardy but fairly straggly, slender shrub, usually 1 to 2 m in height, but can grow to 3.5 m. The rounded leaves are greyish green, somewhat stem-clasping and highly aromatic when crushed. The beauty is in the flowers – very large for Verticordia, arranged in a spike, and varying from pale pinkish red through brilliant scarlet to a deep red.
Essentially, a 260 km-long strip from around Geraldton in the north of Western Australia, south to Cataby, and approximately 80 km east towards Three Springs and Moora.
V. grandis flowers intermittently all year, peaking from August to January.
Like most verticordias, it is typically difficult to grow successfully. It is possible to grow it from seed sown in Autumn, but it will not flower for several years. It can be propagated successfully from cuttings, but this depends greatly on the type of cuttings and the season.
V. grandis is often slow to establish and best suited to winter-wet, summer-dry conditions. They appreciate a warm position with full sun for most of the day, a well drained, sandy soil, and will display the most attractive habit and prolific flowering if planted individually and given plenty of airspace.
Tip-prune young plants to promote new growth and multi-stemming, established plants will tolerate relatively hard pruning.
Check local nurseries for hardier, grafted varieties.
Pests and Diseases
Sometimes susceptible to parrot attack in the wild, other pest problems are rare. May suffer from root rot in heavier soils or in summer rain areas.
View This Plant in Kings Park
In Roe Gardens and below the Two Rivers lookout (near the small Boab trees). To help locate these sites, you may download the Western Australian Botanic Garden brochure via our brochures page.
A good plant for attracting nectar-feeding birds into your garden.
Verticordia grandis has been known to survive for up to 100 years in the wild, due to its underground rootstock (lignotuber), from which regrowth will sprout following fire, physical damage or soil disturbance.
Originally included in the Chamelaucium genus by René Louiche Desfontaines, it was later identified and named as a separate genus by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1821.
See our plant notes for more on Verticordia.