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Hakea laurina Tas.jpg
Inflorescence and leaves of the Pin-cushion Hakea (Hakea laurina).
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Subfamily: Grevilleoideae

See text

Grevilleoideae is a subfamily of the flowering plant family Proteaceae. Mainly restricted to the southern hemisphere, it contains around 44 genera and about 950 species. Genera include Banksia, Grevillea and Macadamia.


The Grevilleoideae grow as trees, shrubs or subshrubs. They are highly variable, making it impossible to provide a simple, diagnostic identification key for the subfamily. One common and fairly diagnostic character is the occurrence of flowers in pairs that share a common bract. However, a few Grevilleoideae taxa do not have this property, having solitary flowers or inflorescences of unpaired flowers. In most taxa the flowers occur in densely packed heads or spikes, and the fruit is a follicle.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Grevilleoideae are mainly a southern hemisphere family. The main centre of diversity is Australia, with around 700 of 950 species occurring there, and South America also contains taxa. However, Grevilleoideae is barely present in Africa; almost all of the Proteaceae taxa there belong to the subfamily Proteoideae.[1] The Brabejum tree of Cape Town is the exception, and the only Grevilleoid in Africa.


Stenocarpus sinuatus (Firewheel Tree)
Lomatia silaifolia
Telopea oreades, the Gippsland Waratah
Grevillea banksii
Banksia sessilis (Parrotbush)

The framework for classification of the Proteaceae was laid by L. A. S. Johnson and Barbara Briggs in their 1975 monograph "On the Proteaceae: the evolution and classification of a southern family".[2] Their classification has been refined somewhat over the ensuing three decades, most notably by Peter H. Weston and Nigel Barker in 2006. Grevilleoideae is now considered one of five subfamilies of Proteaceae. The placement and circumscription of Grevilleoideae according to Weston and Barker can be summarised as follows:[3]

Family Proteaceae

Subfamily Bellendenoideae (1 genus)
Subfamily Persoonioideae (2 tribes, 5 genera)
Subfamily Symphionematoideae (2 genera)
Subfamily Proteoideae (4 tribes, 5 subtribes, 25 genera)
Subfamily Grevilleoideae
incertae sedis
Sphalmium — Carnarvonia
Tribe Roupaleae
incertae sedis
Megahertzia — Knightia — Eucarpha — Triunia
Subtribe Roupalinae
Roupala — Neorites — Orites
Subtribe Lambertiinae
Lambertia — Xylomelum
Subtribe Heliciinae
Helicia — Hollandaea
Subtribe Floydiinae
Darlingia — Floydia
Tribe Banksieae
Subtribe Musgraveinae
Musgravea — Austromuellera
Subtribe Banksiinae
Banksia — Dryandra
Tribe Embothrieae
Subtribe Lomatiinae
Subtribe Embothriinae
Embothrium — Oreocallis — Alloxylon — Telopea
Subtribe Stenocarpinae
Stenocarpus — Strangea
Subtribe Hakeinae
Opisthiolepis — Buckinghamia — Hakea — Grevillea — Finschia
Tribe Macadamieae
Subtribe Macadamiinae
Macadamia — Panopsis — Brabejum
Subtribe Malagasiinae
Malagasia — Catalepidia
Subtribe Virotiinae
Virotia — Athertonia — Heliciopsis
Subtribe Gevuininae
Cardwellia — Sleumerodendron — Euplassa — Gevuina — Bleasdalea — Hicksbeachia — Kermadecia — Turrillia


Edible nuts of Macadamia

Many Grevilleoideae species are cultivated by the nursery industry, as barrier plants and for their prominent and distinctive flowers and foliage. Some species are of importance to the cut flower industry, especially some Banksia and Dryandra species. Two species of the genus Macadamia and the Chilean species Gevuina avellana (Chilean hazel) are grown commercially for edible nuts. Chilean hazel has an acceptable frost tolerance.


  1. ^ Orchard, Anthony E. (ed.). "Proteaceae". Flora of Australia, Volume 16: Elaeagnaceae, Proteaceae 1. Melbourne: Australian Biological Resources Study / CSIRO Publishing. 
  2. ^ L. A. S. Johnson and Briggs, B. G. (1975). "On the Proteaceae: the evolution and classification of a southern family". Journal of the Linnean Society of London. Botany. 70 (2): 83–182. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1975.tb01644.x. 
  3. ^ Weston, Peter H.; Barker, Nigel P. (2006). "A new suprageneric classification of the Proteaceae, with an annotated checklist of genera" (PDF). Telopea. 11 (3): 314–344. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-02. 

External links[edit]