Grevillea sparsiflora - Sparse Flowered Grevillea
This small shrub is mainly found east of Esperance and coastal to Cape Arid and the Nullarbor, with a single inland record 250 km (155 miles) NW of Esperance. However, I know it from 2 colonies in a different region, the closest being 120 km (75 miles) NW of Esperance and just east of Pyramid Lake, whilst the other is little south of Lake Tay, approximately 30 km (20 miles) further to the NW.
Where I encountered these plants they had an unusual habitat preference, favouring the heavy reddish soils that are usually found around buried or low-lying granite outcrops, but which have now washed down and overlie limestone. Elsewhere it is recorded from “rocky or stony soil, or sand; occupying limestone cliffs.” (Chris Hollister and Nicholas S. Lander. FloraBase 2008).
Growing to around a metre (3’-4’) in height, it has non-prickly pine-like foliage with a sprinkling of bright scarlet flowers, which despite being relatively few in number are quite eye-catching against the open green foliage. It probably needs these colourful blooms to attract the attention of its bird pollinators, especially as it is commonly found in shaded environments under eucalypts.
Average annual rainfall in the areas Grevillea sparsiflora occurs is between 20-40 cm (8”-16”), with flowering recorded from May to December, although probably dependent on local weather conditions.
The Grevillea genus is part of the large and highly diverse Proteaceae family.