Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Grevillea longifolia R.Br.

Frost tender evergreen shrub or small tree with serrated leaves, silvery or yellowish hairy beneath, to 25cm long, and racemes of dark red flowers in spring.  The foliage has been used by florists for decoration in Europe, particularly France.  To 5m.  [RHSD, FNSW, Olde & Marriott].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Grevillea longifolia was first sent to Britain by Caley, on behalf of the Horticultural Society, sometime after 1801.  ‘It is much to be wished that the cultivation of the more beautiful and singular Proteaceae of the Cape and Australia, which may be said to have been in abeyance for nearly a century, should be resumed.  Miller in his “Gardener’s Dictionary,” Ed. 1770, has only three species.  Aiton in the first edition of “Hortus Kewensis” (1789) enumerates sixty-four, and in the second (1811) this is increased to 114.  The late J. Smith, who was Curator of the Royal Gardens from 1822 to 1864, states in his interesting “Records of the Royal Botanic Gardens” that of the sixty-four species which are recorded in the first edition of “Hortus Kewensis,” forty of that number were in 1823 living in the garden, since which (that is, between 1823 and 1864) the Kew collection had been increased to 154.  The number now is short of this (about 120), the Cape species being fewer in number; they are, however, replaced in point of horticultural interest by handsomer Australian species.  Grevillea aspleniifolia is a native of various parts of the colony of New South Wales.  The first specimens sent to England were from Caley, who was directed to proceed to that colony in 1801 by Sir Joseph Banks, as collector for Kew, and who spent ten years there.  The name and accompanying description first appear in a work published with the date 1809, entitled “On the Cultivation of Proteae,” by Charles Knight, in which no fewer than 254 species of the Order are described, and, as might be inferred from the title of the work, though it is not so stated, were then in cultivation in England.  Knight was a Nurseryman in King’s Road, Chelsea, and it is generally admitted that Salisbury was the author of the descriptions, though neither is this stated in the work, which is quoted by Meissner and others as by “Knight and Salisbury.”  It is presumable that the descriptions published by Knight were drawn up in the Banksian Herbarium from materials prepared by Brown for his “Flora Australiensis,” for in Brown’s paper “On the Proteaceae of Jussieu,” read before the Linnaean Society in July, 1809, P. aspleniifolia appears as a species with no citation of other authority, but with the observation that it exists in the Banksian Herbarium; whereas in the “Prodromus Floram Nova Hollandiae,” published only a year later, Knight’s work is cited as the authority for the name, and Caley as the discoverer of the species.  Those who are cognizant of the rivalries of the botanists of the early part of this century, and especially as regards the publication of Australian plants, will draw their own conclusion as to the real authorship of the species.’  [BM t.7070/1889].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.526/1850].  Probably possessed by Macarthur since before 1844 as it was sent to Lee of Hammersmith on 1st June of that year.  Occurrs from the Blue Mountains to the Catarct River and was probably collected by Macarthur locally.  Today it is restricted to creek lines in the Royal, Heathcote and Blue Mountains National Parks.  [Olde & Marriot].


Published Mar 17, 2009 - 05:00 PM | Last updated Mar 21, 2010 - 01:07 PM

Illustrated are the serrated leaves and racemes of dark red, toothbrush-like flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.7070, 1889.

Grevillea longifolia R.Br. | BM t.7070/1889 | BHL

Family Proteaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Australia



  • Grevillea aspleniifolia var. longifolia (R.Br.) Domin

Common Name

Long-leaf grevillea

Name in the Camden Park Record

Grevillea longifolia 

Confidence level high