Spider flower

Grevillea lanigera ‘Mount Tamboritha’ is an utterly charming, low-growing shrub that copes perfectly in a wide range of climatic conditions.

This native of Australia resists every heavy blow that Mother Nature throws at it in Africa, from stormy coastal winds, to hot and dry summers to extreme winter cold. It is a superbly neat evergreen that only grows to a height of 30 to 50 cm, but can spread to a width of about 1,5 to 2 m. This growth pattern, its dense and soft needle-like foliage and its toughness, make it ideal for planting over terrace walls and for filling gaps on warm slopes. It is also lovely in a rock and gravel garden. Even a forgetful gardener can plant it in hanging baskets, window boxes and pots because the occasional missed watering session will not prevent it from growing well and producing small flowers on the tips of all the little branches.

When do they bloom?

The unusual-looking, pinkish-red and cream flowers appear from winter to summer.

Most suitable climate

Being an exceptionally hardy plant, it is suitable for both cold and coastal gardens.

What they need

Location: full sun.
Soil: sandy, well-drained soil enriched with compost. It does not like phosphates or bone meal.
Water: medium water required in summer, but survives brief periods of drought.
Fertilizing and pruning: only use compost, and prune only to contain unwanted growth after the flowering season.

In a nutshell

* Dense ground cover suitable for all climates.
* Easy grower.
* Medium to low water consumption.
* Attractive in rock and gravel gardens.

Grevillea lanigera ‘Mount Tamboritha’

One of the most popular prostrate Grevilleas around. Low growing and spreading with lovely pale pink spider flowers. Copes with frost and drought.

Water in well when planting, using a weak seaweed solution is beneficial. Do follow up watering (not if raining) for the next 6 weeks to allow for ideal growing conditions. You want the plant to get established and for the roots to grow well. Hot dry windy conditions may require extra watering. Once well established, Mount Tamboritha can survive extended dry periods, but will grow and flower better with the occasional good soak.

Light and Location
Usually prefers full sun, but can take some shade. A minimum of 6 hours full sun is preferable.
Pick your site well. An established grevillea will not move well – not at all…

Can take a reasonable frost. Prefers low to moderate humidity only, foliage underneath my turn black in humid conditions.


Use a native fertiliser in spring and late summer, water in well.


• Tip prune to keep dense. If a more major prune is required, prune in October.
• Mulching is very beneficial for grevilleas. They like the moisture retaining qualities and the additional organic material supplied to the soil as it breaks down. Keep away from the stem of the plant to avoid any chance of collar rot.

Pests and Diseases
• Generally pest and disease free
• Can suffer root rot in heavy clay soils. Ideally plant on a slope so drainage is OK or use raised beds. If your grevillea suddenly looks sick, rapidly loses leaves and dies – it is probably root rot, and there is no coming back from it.
• Grevilleas attract a lot of birds. Some sip the nectar and others feast on the nectar feeding insects, and at the same time clean up other damaging insects.

Grevillea lanigera ‘Prostrate’ (Prostrate Woolly Grevillea) – A low, dense ground cover/shrub to 2 feet tall and 4 feet wide with small, narrow gray-green foliage that is soft and woolly. The cream and pink flower clusters form at the stem tips in winter and spring. The densely-clothed branches are spiral-shaped, resembling Asparagus d. ‘Meyers’. Performs best in full sun to light partial shade in a well-draining, moist to dry soil, surviving short periods of drought. Highly attractive to butterflies. This somewhat tender plant can reliably survive short duration temperatures down to the low 20°s F. The species has a wide distribution from the northern tablelands north of Sydney in New South Wales south to Wilson’s Promontory in Victoria. The genus is named after Charles Francis Greville (1749-1809), co-founder of London Horticultural Society. The specific epithet “lanigera” comes from the Latin word ‘lana’ (wool) and ‘gerus’ (bearing) referring to woolly leaves. We have grown this plant since 1993 and received it under the name “Prostate Form”. In the Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants by Rodger Elliot and David Jones, it is noted that this plant is also called Grevillea lanigera ‘Compacta’ and Grevillea lanigera ‘Mt. Tamboritha’ and these names can all be found in the California nursery trade. The name ‘Mt. Tamboritha’ would imply that the plant came from this mountain within Alpine National Park in south Victoria, but Elliot and Jones contend that it more likely was a selection from one of the naturally more prostrate coastal forms and because of this and because it is the name we first received it as, we have stuck with name ‘Prostrate’. It also very much resembles a plant sold in the California nursery trade under the name ‘Jade Mound’. We also grow the even lower growing Grevillea lanigera ‘Coastal Gem’, a 2001 UC Santa Cruz Arboretum Koala Blooms Introduction. The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery’s garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Grevillea lanigera ‘Prostrate’.

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