Grevillea robusta – Silky Oak
Profusion of bright orange flowers cover this tall tree in summer.
This the largest of the Grevilleas, growing to 40M, usually with a single trunk giving it somewhat the appearance of a conifer. The specimen pictured here has had its main stem pruned or broken at least twice to give this broader shape. The plant loses most of its leaves just before flowering, which enhances the show. The flowers may be too high to be easily inspected from the ground, but they are absolutely normal Grevillea flowers.
G. robusta is endemic to the coastal regions of New South Wales and Southern Queensland in Australia. It is now rare in its natural habitat and felling is restricted. It is not a common plant in worldwide terms, though it has been described as “invasive” in Hawaii. It is not an Oak!
Soil / Aspect:
In the wild, this plant comes grows in dry rain forest. That is to say rain forest with a well developed dry season, which when mature, has well spaced trees with a thin canopy. Once established, G. robusta copes easily with the summers in Karin’s Garden. To become established it will need plenty of light.
This magnificent tree can really only be left to do its thing. Ideally you will not be too fussy over the apprearance of the ground underneath, as this tree does drop a considerable quantity of leaves and flowers. It is not a suitable plant for a small garden.
Before the advent of aluminium the wood was used for windows. Recently it has been used for side and back woods on guitars, because of its tonal and aesthetic qualities.