Grevillea thelemanniana or Hummingbird Bush is a small shrub or groundcover native to Southern and Western Australia. In nature, the shrub is highly variable, sometimes growing tall and sometimes growing only a few feet tall and spreading like a groundcover. Our plant, at 5 years old from seed, has attained a height of 4.5 feet (1.3 m) tall and about the same width. The needle-like leaves of this plant make it look almost like a pine tree. Despite their needle-like appearance though, the leaves are soft and not sharp pointed as they appear. Foliage is medium bluish-green and new growth is tinged with reddish hues. It is an attractive shrub for containers and is hardy in the landscape in USDA zone 10-11.
Blooming: Our plant has yet to bloom.
Culture: Grevillea thelemanniana needs full sun to partial shade with a well-drained soil mix. In containers in the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 2 part sand. Although in nature the plants are very drought tolerant, we water the plants and allow them to dry before watering again. The plants are fertilized monthly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. We keep our plants along with cacti in the dry rooms at all times; here the day time temps may reach over 100°F (38°C) in the summer to as low as 48°F (9°C) at night in the winter months.
Propagation: Grevillea thelemanniana is propagated from seed. Seed collected in San Diego germinated in 30-60 days from sowing. Seed was sown in moist sand with temperatures of 68-70°F (20°C).
Grevillea thelemannianaa was featured as Plant of the Week October 31-November 6, 2008.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.