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Products > Grevillea petrophiloides 'Big Bird'
Grevillea petrophiloides 'Big Bird' - Pink Pokers

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Grevillea petrophiloides 'Big Bird'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Proteaceae (Proteas)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Violet
Bloomtime: Fall/Spring
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Grevillea petrophiloides 'Big Bird' (Pink Pokers) - A medium-sized evergreen shrub to 4 to 6 feet tall with finely divided dark-green leaves that are held upright. From late fall to mid spring, and sporadically at other times, appear the tall erect stems, 8 to 9 feet tall, bearing 3- to 4-inch-long bottlebrush-like clusters of violet-pink flowers held high above the main portion of the shrub with some flowering also at the tips of the foliage.

Plant in full sun in a very well-drained soil that is slightly acidic to neutral at the surface but can be more alkaline at depth with infrequent to NO summer irrigation once established - this is a drought tolerant shrub! Its hardiness is not well known yet but thought to tolerate temperatures down to mid-20s F. Avoid using fertilizer with phosphorous. Reportedly responds well to hard pruning. This attractive plant should be great as a specimen in the background where its wands of flowers can rise above other plants. A fun plant for a large container too. In habitat Grevillea petrophiloides is widespread in lateritic gravely soils in the northern and central sandplain regions in of the hot dry mediterranean climate of the Avon and Irwin districts in Western Australia. In Australia it has proven difficult to maintain in cultivation in humid and wet summer areas, but it should be at home in our mediterranean climate so long as it is given full sun and good drainage. Its stunning and unusual appearance makes it worth the attempt to keep it happy. At one time Grevillea petrophiloides was considered to have three subspecies but only the subspecies petrophiloides remains with ssp. magnifica and ssp. oligomera raised to specific level as Grevillea oligomera and G.magnifica.

The genus name Grevillea honors Charles Francis Greville (1749-1809), a patron of botany, a very close friend of Sir Joseph Banks, and president of the Royal Society of London. The specific epithet comes from its foliage resembling plants in the genus Petrophile, another Proteaceous genera. This form was selected and introduced in 2012 by the University of California Santa Cruz Koala Blooms Australian Native Plant Introduction Program. It was originally accessioned at the UCSC Arboretum as Grevillea petrophiloides 96.406. We grew this very interesting plant from 2012 until 2023 and sold our last remaining propagation stock plants to Gerd Schneider Nursery in Gilroy, California. 

This information about Grevillea petrophiloides 'Big Bird' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.