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Grevillea R.Br. ex Knight 1809 X ‘Pink Parfait’
pronounced: grev-ILL-ee-uh hybrid pink PAR-fay
(Proteaceae – the waratah family)
common name: ‘Pink Parfait’ Grevillea
Parfait is French for ‘perfect’, and this just about sums up this fine Grevillea. Not only is it a lovely example of the genus, but this is Townsville’s very own Grevillea. It was raised by Townsville Tropical Trees of 41 Framara Drive, Townsville, and was accepted for registration by the Grevillea Society in 1982. It is presumed to be a Filial 2 (second generation) hybrid of Grevillea ‘Misty Pink’, which itself is a hybrid between Grevillea banksii (in its compact red flowering form) and Grevillea sessilis, which occurs in open woodland or shrubland in low mountain ranges of inland Queensland, from the Cairns area south to about Springsure. The flowers of Grevillea sessilis have a white perianth, with the style creamy-white or occasionally greenish yellow, and a green tip.
‘Pink Parfait’ grows into a slender shrub about 4 m tall. The leaves are very similar in shape to Grevillea banksii, and are about 12 cm long by 8 cm wide at the widest point. They have the green colour of the leaves of Grevillea sessilis rather than the greyish colour of those of Grevillea banksii. The lower surfaces of the leaves have a silvery appearance, due to a coating of dense hairs. The flowers are a vivid pink in fairly compact racemes about 17 cm long. The inflorescence is longer and slightly narrower than that of ‘Misty Pink’, and the flowers less densely packed.
It is worth noting that the foliage of quite a number of Grevillea species is known to cause skin irritation in some people. Accordingly, care should be taken in locating these plants in the garden: they should not be placed where people would need to brush past them regularly, and it is probably better to avoid planting them in school playgrounds. The ‘Robyn Gordon’ group of cultivars is particularly inclined to induce this allergic dermatitis.
Pruning is not usually required with Grevillea, but plants can tolerate moderate to heavy pruning if necessary. The plants prefer a sunny, well-drained position. Propagation of all these cultivars is fairly easy from cuttings. Because of the hybrid origin of these plants, seedlings will not come true to type, and must not be given the original cultivar name; but seed seems to be set vary rarely with these plants.
When fertilizing Grevillea, fertilizers containing phosphorus are best avoided. The same applies to many members of the Proteaceae family.
As well as 'Pink Parfait’ and ‘Misty Pink’, there are other non-stop flowering taller varieties. ‘Sylvia’ also produces beautiful pink tones, and ‘Moonlight’, with its creamy flower heads, has one of the longest flowering seasons. More outstanding long-flowering hybrids are becoming available year by year. The orange-red ‘Flamingo’ is a prolific bloomer, and the aptly named ‘Sunset Bronze’ is absolutely stunning.
Photographs taken in Picnic Bay, 2010
Page last updated 9th December 2016