ClimateWatch

An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. 193 Photo by Laurie Wilson
  2. 193_0 Photo by Laurie Wilson
  3. 193_1 Photo by William Wilson
  4. 193_2 Photo by William Wilson
  5. 193_3 Photo by William Wilson

Red Spider Flower

Grevillea speciosa

Appearance

  • An evergreen shrub.
  • Size: up to 3 m tall.
  • Leaves: oval shaped with silvery hairs on underside. They are 1 – 5 cm long and 4 – 12 mm wide.
  • Flowers: bright red, or occasionally pink, and spider-like in appearance. Each “spider leg” is 2 – 4 cm long and forms in a loose circle on a stalk. The flower heads are approximately 7 cm in diameter and grow at the end of branches or amongst leaves.
  • Fruit/seed: smooth and hairless follicles, they are oval in shape and 12–20 mm long.

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 mainly appear from July to October but can sporadically appear throughout the year
  • 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 heath or woodland, usually in sandy soils on sandstone.
  • It is endemic to the Sydney region and is found from Gosford, Kulnura and Bucketty on the New South Wales Central Coast, south to Port Jackson.
  • Look in heathlands around Sydney, particularly on the sandstone plateaus north of the harbour.

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

Red Spider Flower Occurrence Map ALA

References

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

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.

  1. Search Species

  1. What Else?

    Grevillea oleoides: has longer leaves (5 – 14 cm long). 

  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 speciosa means showy, referring to its foliage.