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Friday, June 29, 2012

Grevillea robusta - Silk Oak

Wow, can you believe the color of those flowers? What other tree has that color orange? The silk oak is a non descript looking tree until they start flowering (middle of May to June here) and then you can't miss them. Reported to reach 75 feet quickly, I think we might see 45-50'.  They didn't plant one at the arboretum because they are known to be weedy. They have an oval to pyramidal habit with short thick horizontal lateral branches. Evergreen, blooming in June around here.

The leaves look like so many other grevilleas, they have sort of a ferny look to them but they are not soft. They are alternate, pinnately compound,  8 - 10" long, with 11-23 deeply dissected leaflets, light gray green with silver lower surfaces (one of the common names is silver oak).

Stems are silky when young covered with short rust colored hairs.

The flowers are yellowish orange arranged in 5-7" long clusters.  Individual flowers are in pairs on short stalks. The color comes mostly from the reproductive parts. 

The racemes are one sided, all the flowers facing upwards.

Bark is nothing special.

Misidentification: Not likely

3201 Merrill St, about a dozen planted on the perimeter of a housing development

Santa Cruz:
Corner of Mission and Chestnut Extension.
441 High St.
902 Hanover. In Back yard but very visible.
247 Marnell Ave.

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