Grevillea juniperina

Distribution Map
Family: Proteaceae
Distribution: A widespread species, usually in woodland or open forest, from south-east Queensland to the central west of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
Common Name: Juniper-leaf grevillea
Derivation of Name: Grevillea...after Charles Francis Greville, co-founder of the Royal Horticultural Society
juniperina...foliage similar to the genus Juniper.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Grevillea juniperina is a variable species which occurs in prostrate or decumbent forms as well as shrubby forms from 1 - 2.5 metres high. The leaves are linear from 5 to 35 mm long terminating in a pungent point. In some forms the pungent tip is very sharp. Flowers clusters are of the typical 'spider' form occuring in the leaf axils and at the ends of the branches. Flower colour may be greenish-yellow, yellow, apricot, pink or red. Copious quantities of nectar are produced which attract many birds and insects.

Grevillea juniperina - red form
Grevillea juniperina, red-flowered form
Photo: Brian Walters

G. juniperina is a well known member of the genus, having been in cultivation for many years either as a form of the species or as one parent of numerous hybrids. There are several different forms, which are described in more detail in The Grevillrea Book Volume 2 (P. Olde and N. Marriott, 1995):

  • Typical Form - occurs in Western Sydney in the Windsor, St Marys, Penrith area. This form is considered to be at risk due to destruction of habitat. It is a cascading shrub to about 1 metre with very prickly foliage and apricot (occasionally red) flowers.
  • Broad-leaved form - occurs on the northern Tablelands of NSW and is prostrate or decumbent in habit with yellow or red flowers.
  • Canberra form - occurs in the ACT and adjacent areas of NSW and is a robust shrub with prickly foliage and red, yellow or pink flowers.
  • Corang River form - bushy shrub with red or yellow flowers.

Juniper-leaf grevillea is a hardy and adaptable species which grows well in most well-drained soils. It prefers a sunny location but will accept dappled shade and it is tolerant of moderate to heavy frost. A particularly hardy and showy form is the cultivar known as 'Molonglo' - a hybrid between an upright, red-flowered form and a yellow, prostrate form. This cultivar was developed at Australian National University in the 1960s and is a low, spreading plant with apricot coloured flowers.

Grevillea juniperina 'Molonglo'
Grevillea 'Molonglo'
Photo: Brian Walters

Propagation may be carried out from seed and germination is improved if the seed is carefully "nicked" with a sharp knife to expose the embryo. Cuttings of current seasons' growth are also successful and this is the method that must be used for named forms as they will not come true from seed.

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