Grevillea Robusta - Silky Oak Tree
Better known as the Silky Oak or the Australian Silver Oak, this tree is native to eastern Australia along the coast, though it has been naturalised in many places including French Polynesia, Nepal, South Africa and Florida.
A fast-growing evergreen, mature specimens can reach up to heights of 12m and taller. Leaves are fern-like and an attractive olive green, reaching up to around 30cm in length and 15cm in width, divided into lanced shaped lobes which are often divided themselves. Leaves are often lost before flowering.
Flowers are one-sided, reaching around 15cm in length, orange-yellowish. Carpel stalks are around 25mm long, giving the flowers a brush-like appearance. Blooms occur during the summer, with glabrous fruits that remain on the tree until winter.
The leaves and flowers (and sawdust) of this Grevillea can cause contact dermatitis and rashes. Please be aware when handling this plant.
The wood was once used in joinery and furniture and fence manufacturing. Felling is now restricted, though the wood is sometimes used to make acoustic guitars. Leaves can also be used to create intense yellow and green dyes.
Enjoys full sun to thrive, as well as a well-draining, rich soil.
Frost tender to 1°C in British climes due to the longer and colder winters. In its natural habitat it can tolerate down to −8 °C once well established.