Australian Silver-oak.. or Silky-oak…

Grevillea robusta, commonly known as the southern silky oak or Silky-oak, or Australian Silver-oak.

It’s a native of Australia, it’s a fast growing evergreen tree, between 18–35 m tall with dark green delicately dented bipinnatifid leaves similar in a way to a fern frond. It is the largest plant in the Grevillea genus, and it can reach a diameter in excess of one metre. 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 in the spring, situated on a 2–3 cm long stem and are used for honey production.

The timber from this tree was widely used for external window joinery as it is resistant to rotting. It was also popular for making furniture.

The flowers and fruit contain toxic hydrogen cyanide.

A tree is flowering at the moment and I took a few close ups of the flower and one can see the sweet nectar on the blooms…

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45 thoughts on “Australian Silver-oak.. or Silky-oak…

    • Read up on it and they say it is found more in the saw dust when working the wood than the flowers… but I’ve sampled the nectar for 50 odd years and still standing…

    • Thanks Gina… I’m going to follow up on the cyanide connection as if they were dangerous they would have been placed on an unwanted specie list here…

  1. It’s such a beautiful flower! I’m a little uneasy about the cyanide connection. Obviously if people are sucking on the flowers there isn’t too much concern. It would continue to make an interesting story, though. Your closeups are gorgeous!

    • Thank you… I only got to here about the poison connection recently… but when back in the city will do more research on it… and maybe post my findings…

    • Only found out about this just recently… been sucking on the flowers since school days… and that’s a long time… so either I’m trying to commit suicide in a very slow manner… or it is so weak it has no harming effects…

      • I’ve read about this..and I think that’s what you’ve done, built up a tolerance….but please, now that you know…STOP THE MADNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We need our Bulldog!!!

  2. Fascinating flower bulldog…your lens captured the detail exquisitely! Amazing to me that they can make furniture from this bud!!! So wonderful to learn so much from you dear friend ~ x R

    • They make furniture from the tree… you’re pulling my leg aren’t you..?? I didn’t write that did I..?? I’ll have to go and have a look at my bad English if I did… but thanks.. the flowers are fascinating…

      • oh yes – i stand corrected – you did say “timber” and I somehow missed that important noun!! So sorry ~ but still an amazing flower – furniture or not “ all the detail –intricate as can be!! x

        • Popped back myself.. as I am known for making such mistakes… glad you liked the photo macros…
          Love to all there… any more news from the Doctors.. really praying for a permanent cure for you… Robyn.. then we will have to stand back for your photos and accompanying words…
          Mind you every time I think you can’t better a post … the very next one, you do… love it

          • You are too sweet bulldog… struggling through my moments here quite honestly – pretty brutal days… still want to do blog though — even if i go off the deep end every now and then and do erotic posts of fig fruits! Awaiting on opinion end of this week from another top dysplasia surgeon… and then next week will speak to my own surgeon who did not recognize this condition and shaved away a good part of my sockets 2 years ago due to impingement that was likely ‘protective’ ! It’s a roller coaster — will be so happy if ever I can be normal – and then yes – watch out for my blog posts for real! Sending lots of love and hope all is well with you and the family ~ how much longer is your great adventure to last? ~R

            • Will be returning to civilization on Thursday this week… erotic posts of figs had me confused for a while I must admit… Hope and pray for your quick return to a normality of life and is it possible to improve on your posts… probably in your case and we will all be awe struck…

              • Thank you bulldog — I so appreciate – will try to stay sane and try not to do too many x rated posts 🙂 — I did learn a lot though … and may even read some of DHLs literary work now… I so hope I can recover and live out your vision — You are an angel! xo R

    • They are absolutely beautiful and I can stand and study their different growth for hours… how the flower unfolds…

  3. Hi Bulldog, Welcome home … if you are Pretoria side 🙂 Lovely flower, bit concerning to see flowers and fruit contain cyanide and the nectar is used for honey production! Please could you at some stage take a picture of the tree – further away I would be interested to see the ‘bigger picture’. Laura

    • Will do with pleasure… and the mess their leaves make… I wouldn’t worry about the cyanide production, it is so low… I’ve been sucking the nectar direct from the flowers for years with no adverse effects… however what I have noticed whilst still here in Kathu (going home Thursday)… is that their are no bees anywhere to be seen near the tree, yet the flowers and other trees.. (indigenous) are covered in them… and one sees very few birds in the tree… I wonder if they know something we don’t..??

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