Kenya Natural History Guide >>> Plants >>> Grevillea robusta

Silky Oak
Australian Silver Oak

Grevillea robusta

a Australian tree, Grevillea robusta, photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed on the Elgeyo Escarpment near Tambach, Kenya, Africa. December 2012.

From Wikipedia: Grevillea robusta, commonly known as the southern silky oak or silky oak, or Australian silver oak, is the largest species in the genus Grevillea of the family Proteaceae. It is not closely related to the true oaks, Quercus. It is a native of eastern coastal Australia, in riverine, subtropical and dry rainforest environments receiving more than 1,000 mm per year of average rainfall. It has been widely planted in Kenya on farms and in forest plantation schemes.

It is a fast-growing evergreen tree, between 18–35 m tall, with dark green delicately dented bipinnatifid leaves reminiscent of a fern frond. It reaches bole diameters in excess of 1 m. The leaves are generally 15–30 cm long with greyish white or rusty undersides. Its flowers are golden-orange bottlebrush-like blooms, between 8–15 cm long, on a 2–3 cm long stem and are used for honey production. Like others of its genus, the flowers have no petals, instead they have a long calyx that splits into 4 lobes. The seeds mature on dark brown leathery dehiscent follicles, about 2 cm long, with one or two flat, winged seeds.

Proteaceae -- Protea Family

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Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 24 May 2013