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Grevillea 'Fire Sprite'

Grevillea longistyla x venusta 'Fire Sprite'

ORIGIN: Grevillea 'Fire Sprite' is a hybrid between Grevillea longistyla (female) and Grevillea venusta (male). It originated in 1996 at Loganview Nursery, Logan Reserve Queensland. The name refers to the fiery colour of the flowers. The originators and applicants are Mervyn and Olwyn Hodge, on behalf of the ASGAP Grevillea Study Group. (Received 13th August 1999).

DESCRIPTION: A large spreading shrub to c. 3m x 5m with a mid-dense habit and infertile inflorescences.

Branchlets bronze with dense matted hairs, becoming grey with a shiny waxy layer with age, striate, erect to slightly spreading.

Leaves normally pinnately divided, occasionally simple, to 25cm long and to 18cm wide. Leaf lobes to 17cm long and to 8mm wide. Upper surface dark green with scattered deciduous appressed white hairs mostly shed with age. Lower surface with a mixture of white and bronze appressed hairs either side of a bronze-haired midvein.

Flowers in a simple to branched erect cylindrical conflorescence on a short peduncle. Floral rachis bronze with matted hairs, average length 7cm. Flowers burnt red. Perianth 12mm long (average) x 8mm wide, yellow-green at the base, becoming orange then pinky-red to deep burnt red at the top of the curve, lightly covered on the outer surface with a mixture of bronze and white appressed hairs which become dense and bronze on the limb. Inner surface with scattered erect white hairs particularly in lower third. Limb bronze, obtuse, revolute. Pistil to 46mm, style to 36mm, burgundy-red with spreading long white hairs in lower half. Style end same colour as style. Ovary with dense spreading white hairs, stipitate above a large, markedly oblique torus. Flowers during June to October, with scattered flowers for remainder of year.

DIAGNOSIS: Foliage has broader lobes than G. longistyla, but finer than G. venusta. Flowers are a unique deep burnt red and orange/green unlike either of its parents.

COLOUR CODE: RHS Colour Chart 1995.

Perianth: ca.185a
Style: ca.187a
Leaves: ca.137a

CULTIVATION: This cultivar grows readily and strongly in cultivation. It quickly forms a mid-dense rounded large shrub with erect branches. It appears to be moderately drought and frost hardy, growing far more readily in Southern Australia than either of its parents. Easy to propagate from cuttings. Prune regularly to maintain compact shape.

ACRA REFERENCES: ACC788, ACRA761/692, CBG9913975