Common name: Flame or Honey Grevillea

Family: PROTEACEAE

Aboriginal names: 'Wama' (Yewara), 'kaliny kalinypa' (Pintupi), 'rawur rawurba', 'galigiri' (Gugadja)

Flowering Honey Grevillea in Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Photo: D. Blumer.View image slideshow

Origin of Scientific Name

Grevillea: named after Charles Francis Greville, co-founder of the Royal Horticultural Society.

eriostachya: (Greek) from erion – wool, and Stachys­ – an ear of corn; referring to the shape of the inflorescence and the hairy surface on the flowers.

Description

Grevillea eriostachya has a widespread distribution throughout arid Western Australia, from Derby in the north to almost as far south as Perth, where it can grow in deep red, yellow or grey sand in low heath, mixed scrub and spinifex shrubland. Its range also extends into the Northern Territory and the northwest corner of South Australia.

Grevillea eriostachya is a bushy, upright shrub that grows up to two metres with long, thin, grey-green leaves. The dominant feature is its tall leafless branches that can extend above the foliage capped with spectacular large yellow flowers of torch-like appearance. However, due to its large range, its characteristics can vary with shrubs in the north having much shorter branches and flowers closer to the foliage.

The Flame Grevillea flowers prolifically for many months, generally peaking in spring; however, in desert regions it flowers in response to rainfall. The flowers mature from green buds to bright yellow or orange and attract many birds with their copious sweet nectar. At peak nectar flows, the flowers can drip quantities of nectar onto the ground.

These nectar rich flowers are used by Aboriginal people as a drink, either by sucking the flowers or dunking the flowers in water and sipping the resultant sweet drink.

Horticultural tips

  • Use as a feature shrub for its masses of brilliant golden yellow flowers.
  • Best planted in autumn or winter in a sunny position and well-drained soil.
  • Drought and light frost tolerant once established.
  • Suited for dry climates and difficult to maintain in humid climates.
  • Tip pruning will improve shape and density.
  • Do not prune off flower canes as these continue to produce flowers for some years.

For more horticultural tips view our Plant Notes section.

View in Kings Park

Take a stroll through the Western Australian Botanic Garden to see Grevillea eriostachya growing in the Hakea and Grevillea Garden (refer to map).

Want more information?

Refer to the profile for this plant on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' FloraBase online herbarium.

Bright yellow or orange flowers of Flame Grevillea attract many birds with their copious sweet nectar. Photo: D. Blumer. At peak nectar flows, the flowers can drip quantities of nectar onto the ground. Photo: D. Blumer. Flame Grevillea or Honey Grevillea in Kings Park. Photo: D. Blumer. Flame Grevillea flowers. Photo: D. Blumer.

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