A mix of dense, green-grey color, they provide rich ornamental view at open places giving a natural feel in concrete neighborhood. They are intolerant of shade and require space. The name Grevillea is in memory of Charles F. Greville (1749-1807), one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society of London.
As diverse as trees, shrubs and ground covers, Proteaceae plants are found in frost free, arid regions with scanty rainfall. Warm, dry conditions suit these plants and they thrive in environments that other plants may not find conducive to survive. Some also bloom in winter.
The name Proteaceae is taken after the Greek god, Proteus, whose penchant for self-transformations in various shapes has passed on to the plant which also assumes different shapes in different regions of the world.
The protea species are tough, hard and resilient. They require minimal nutrients, very little moist, and loose and gravelly soil. The plant is designed to survive in tough conditions by retaining moist in its leaves and flowers. It is not compatible with moist saturated soil and is more suited for mineral rich soil with less phosphate content and where water drains fast. Hillside slopes where the soil is loose also serve as ideal breeding ground for proteaceae plants.
The flower is the size of a dinner plate. It is showy and decorative. It has brilliant orange-yellow color. The flowers are nectar-bearing, and attract birds and insects. Some species attract insects and trap them with their sticky exterior killing them for no apparent reason.
Proteaceae leaves range from large, round rainforest types to the needle-like variety. Hairless and green on the surface, the leaf bears white or ash colored silky hair underneath. It is alternate and two to four inches in size. The pointed fern like leaves of Grevillea robusta give way to beautiful golden yellow bloom of the flowers during spring. (University of Connecticut).
Grevillea robust leaf
The leaves cause quite a litter at the onset of spring as they begin to shed in large numbers. (Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson).
The plant's reproduction system is unique and contains both the male and female functions.
The flower performs bisexual functions by its ability to reproduce on its own.
Figure 1 Figure 2
Figure 1 shows the Grevillea robusta immature flower with the perianth (four dark pink yellow border strips). Figure 2 shows G. robusta mature flower without the perianth and the ovary, style and the pollen presenter with stigma visible.
The outer part of the flower is a bract called perianth. The bract is a scale like covering found around the lower part of a flower. It is hard and protects the inner portion