The flowers of Honey Grevillea (Grevillea eriostachya) shrub produce a sweet thick honey-like nectar and is enjoyed not only by birds and ants, but also by Aboriginal people as a sweet treat. They can be sucked directly from the flower (and is a popular treat for Aboriginal children). The flowers are also soaked in water to make a sweet cordial-like drink.

Kaliny-kalinypa (Honey grevillea) is a straggly looking shrub with long, narrow leaves. It is recognised by the bright yellow and green flowers in long spikes. The flowers that produce the sweet nectar is at its best in the early mornings.

Honey Grevillea (Grevillea eriostachya), Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Honey Grevillea (Grevillea eriostachya), Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

The shrub flowers prolifically in winter and spring, but can flower any time dependent on rain. Growing anywhere up to 2 to 3 metres high, the racemes in terminal panicles are about 10-20 cm long and is pale green in bud, turning to a golden yellow or orange as it opens from the base to the tip of the flower. At peak nectar flows, the flowers can drip nectar onto the ground.

Common name
Kaliny-kalinypa (name given by the Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara people), Wama (Yewara), rawur rawurba, galigiri (Gugadja), Honey Gevillea, Flame Grevillea, Yellow Flame Grevillea.

The scientific word eriostachya (is Greek) from erion meaning wool, and Stachys­ an ear of corn; this referring to the shape of the inflorescence and the hairy surface on the flowers.

This plant is widespread in the inland regions of Australia, found growing on sand dunes, spinifex sand plains and sandhills. Grevillea juncifolia is found in the Northern Territory, being fairly common plant in the Kings Canyon region, and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. They are found growing in Derby in the north to almost as far south as Perth in Western Australia and the northwest corner of South Australia.

More in-depth information can be found in publications and online.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Order: Proteales
  • Family: Proteaceae
  • Genus: Grevillea
  • Species: G. eriostachya
  • Binomial name: Grevillea eriostachya

Footnote & References

  1. Honey grevillea – Parks Australia, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, (Retrieved 21 November 2020).
  2. Grevillea eriostachya – Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority, Government of Western Australia, (Retrieved 21 November 2020).
  3. Honey grevillea, Alice Springs Desert Park, (Retrieved 21 November 2020).