Grevillea acanthifolia

Distribution Map
Family: Proteaceae
Distribution: Three disjunct populations on the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales.
Common Name: No generally accepted common name
Derivation of Name: Grevillea...after Charles Francis Greville, co-founder of the Royal Horticultural Society
acanthifolia...a reference to the similarity of the foliage to the genus Acanthus
Conservation Status: Subspecies paludosa is listed as Endangered under the EPBC Act* (ie. "facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future, as determined in accordance with the prescribed criteria"). The other two subspecies are not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Grevillea acanthifolia is typical of the "toothbrush"-flowered grevilleas where the individual flowers are arranged in a terminal one-sided raceme. There are three recognised subspecies; subsp.acanthifolia occurs in the Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney, subsp.stenomera is found in the northern tablelands of New South Wales while subsp.paludosa is a relatively recent discovery from the Nalbough Plateau in south-eastern New South Wales.

Grevillea acanthifolia

Grevillea  x gaudichaudii
Top: Flowers of Grevillea acanthifolia
Bottom: Foliage of Grevillea x gaudichaudii

Photos: Brian Walters

The species is a small shrub, usually less than half a metre tall. Flowers are pink to purple in colour and the bright green leaves are lobed with sharp pointed tips. Natural hybrids with G.laurifolia are common where both species occur together in the Blue Mountains. The hybrid is known as G.x gaudichaudii. - it usually has foliage which is intermediate in shape between the two parents.

G.acanthifolia ssp acanthifolia is reasonably widely cultivated but can be unreliable at low elevations. It prefers a sunny position and is tolerant of heavy frosts. The other subspecies do not appear to be in wide cultivation.

Propagation is best from cuttings which strike readily.

* EPBC Act = Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. For further information refer the Australian Plants at Risk page

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