The Pink Spider Flower is August's plant of the month.
The Pink Spider Flower
The Pink Spider Flower is endemic to New South Wales and has a distribution from the Central Coast, south to Heathcote and inland to Mudgee
The Pink Spider Flower, or Grevillea sericea, is a conspicuous and beautiful component of Sydney’s coastal flora. It is a small shrub, around 1-1.5m, with small pointed leaves, a compact and dense habit and woody stems. The plant is known for its beautiful light pink flowers growing in small clusters, which can look like the legs and body of a tiny, pink spider.
It starts flowering in Autumn and can persist all the way through into late spring providing winter colour and a food source in the bush and in gardens. Unlike many of the more commonly planted hybrid grevilleas, the Pink Spider Flower has small flowers that are borne in large numbers on short branchlets on the main stems. These tiny, delicate flowers require specialised mouth parts to access, and they are a favourite of smaller honeyeaters and spinebills, with their long, agile tongues.
They are also a key species for the various native bees, who can access their deep, tubular flowers. European bees also appreciate the nectar, but often tear into the flowers with their strong jaws destroying the flower in the process. This can negatively affect seed production and has been thought to have reduced the numbers of this plant in the wild.
This species is an excellent addition to the home garden, as it is beautiful and easy to grow. The smaller flowers and dense habit make it excellent habitat for native insects, bees and smaller birds, rather than larger grevilleas which favour more aggressive species such as Noisy Miners and Rainbow Lorikeets.
Where to see the Pink Spider Flower in Centennial Parklands
If you want to see this plant in the parklands it is grown in some of the most prominent native beds near the central depot and at the Robertson Road gates. It can also be found growing in the bush regeneration areas in the South West Corner, the Small Bird Habitat and within Fearnley Grounds.