ClimateWatch

An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. 182_2 Photo by William Wilson
  2. 182 Seed pod photo by Laurie Wilson
  3. 182_0 Photo by Laurie Wilson
  4. 182_1 Photo by Neil Saunders

Grey Spider Flower

Grevillea buxifolia subsp. buxifolia

Appearance

  • An upright to spreading evergreen shrub.
  • Size: 0.5 – 2.5 m high.
  • Leaves: oval or elliptical in shape, 1 – 3.5 cm long and 2 – 8.5 mm wide. Their upper surfaces are glossy green and their lower surfaces are greyish with short hairs.
  • Flowers: grey, hairy, and spider-like, they occur in clusters at the ends of branches. Each part of the flower (the tepals) is twisted, exposing the whitish woolly inner surface; the rest of the flower is a rusty colour. It has a 2 – 4 mm long appendage on each stylar, which protrude from the centre of the flower and are covered in hairs of equal length, and there is a 17 – 21 mm long gynoecia (reproductive part of the flower) in the centre of the stylar.
  • Fruit/seed: a hairy follicle.

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower
  • Full flowering (record all days)
  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)
  • Open seed pods / follicles (record all days)

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect plants to start shooting and flowering earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. They may also start appearing in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them. Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?".

When To Look

  • From late winter through spring
  • Flowers appear from July to November and can sporadically appear in other months
  • Follicles appear after flowers

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of these events so remember to keep a lookout from June!

Where To Look

  • In dry woodland and heath, usually in sandy soils.
  • On the central coast of New South Wales and adjacent ranges, from Port Jackson in the south, to just north of Tuggerah in the north, and inland to Windsor and Kulnura. It is also found in the southern Sydney Basin from the Cooks River to Menai and Waterfall, and there is a small population in the Pigeon House Mountain area on the south coast near Milton.

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes outside of their known ranges so remember to keep a lookout beyond these regions!

Grey Spider Flower Occurrence Map ALA

References

Walther G, Post E, Convey P, Menzel A, Parmesan C, Beebee TJC, Fromentin J, Hoegh-Guldberg O, and Bairlein F 2002. Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature 416: 389–395.

Australian Biological Resources Study. 1995. Flora of Australia Volume 16. Australian Biological Resources Study/CSIRO Publishing.

Australian Biological Resources Study. 2000. Flora of Australia Volume 17a. Australian Biological Resources Study/CSIRO Publishing.

Australian Biological Resources Study. 1999. Flora of Australia Volume 17b. Australian Biological Resources Study/CSIRO Publishing.

Morley BD & Toelken HR (eds) 1983. Flowering Plants of Australia. Rigby, Adelaide.

  1. Search Species

  1. What Else?

    • Generally, it is distinguished from other grevillea species by its obvious 2 – 4 mm long stylar appendages (extensions on the centre parts of the flower), the hairs on its style which are all the same length, and its 17 – 21 mm long gynoecia (reproductive part of the flower) in the centre of the stylar.
    • Grevillea buxifolia subsp. ecorniculata: the stylar appendage is absent or hard to notice, the hairs on the style are much longer on the appendage than the rest of it, and it has shorter gynoecia (centre of the flower; 11 – 13 mm long).
    • Grevillea sphacelata: the hairs on its branches lay close to the stems, has less robust flowers, and a non-existent or very short stylar appendage.
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  1. Did You Know?

    Its genus name Grevillea is named after Charles Francis Greville, co-founder of the Royal Horticultural Society; and its species name buxifolia means box-leaved, referring to the appearance of the foliage.

    It is one of three subspecies of Grevillea buxifolia, which differ in the shape and features of the pollen presenter.

    Populations in the north and northwest of its range tend to have narrower leaves and less robust flowers.