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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Select and Cultivate Grevilleas in gardens, pots, anywhere.

Grevilleas are a wide group of plants, all but seven species coming from Australia. They are widespread in both cool temperate, and hot tropical climates.

There are around 250 species.

Known commonly as “Spider Flowers”; the Grevillea flower is more like a brush than a traditional flower. It has obscure petals, but is none the less very colourful. Flower colour varies greatly; and most hold their flowers for a long period.

Grevilleas include both small to very large plants (from prostrate ground covers, through small and medium shrubs up to large trees).

Their hardiness is variable according to species. The foliage is also variable ranging from small, entire leaves to lobed or pinnate leaves. All are arranged alternately on the stems and some have hairy under surfaces. Most have a medium to fast growth rate.

“There are so many of these wonderful colourful plants in our gardens today. Not only are they striking to look at, they also attract bird life. It really is worth getting to know them a little bit better.”

Tracey Morris Dip.Hort., Cert.Hort., Cert III Organic Farming, ACS Tutor.

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Be a Grevillea Expert

This is a course for amateurs and professionals; plant collectors and breeders, nurserymen, botanists, landscapers, gardeners and horticulturists.

Grevillea is one of approximately 60 genera in the Proteaceae family.

Almost all of approximately 1400 Proteaceae species occur in the southern hemisphere; about 800 being native to Australia, and of those, 550 native to Western Australia - the greatest concentration by far being in the south of the state.

  •        All Proteaceae are woody, evergreen plants.
  •        Flowers vary a great deal in shape and colour.
  •        South Africa (and north to central Africa) has around 400 species including the entire genus Protea.
  •        Central and South America has 90 species.
  •        The New Guinea islands have 45 species.
  •        A few remaining species are found in South East Asia, New Caledonia, New Zealand and mainland New Guinea.

Australian natives in the Proteaceae family include Grevillea, Hakea, Banksia, Dryandra, Stenocarpus, Isopogon, Persoonia, Telopea, Conospermum, Franklandia, Petrophile and many others.



The Genus Grevillea

There are more than 250 species of Grevillea and hundreds if not thousands of different varieties and hybrids, many probably not yet named.

  • About 50% of all Grevilleas are tropical.
  • The majority of species are stenobasic (ie. having more or less one dominant stem or trunk).
  • Twenty of the known species are trees.
  • 176 of the known species are shrubs
  • 17 of the known species are prostrate shrubs


Course Content

There are 8 lessons in this course: 

  1. Introduction.
    • Review of the system of plant identification, general characteristics of Grevilleas, information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs etc.)
  2. Culture.
    • Planting, staking, mulching, watering, pest and disease, feeding, pruning, protection from wind, salt air, etc.
  3. Propagation.
    • Methods of propagating Grevilleas. Propagation of selected varieties.
  4. The Most Commonly Grown Varieties.
  5. Other Important Groups.
  6. Other Grevillea Varieties.
  7. Making The Best Use of Grevilleas.
    • In containers, in the ground, growing for profit etc. (to sell the plants) etc.
  8. Special Assignment. On one selected plant or group.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


Course Duration:  100 hours


Grow them in Any Temperate (or tropical) Climate

Grevilleas have huge potential as garden plants and also commercial cut flowers, throughout most of the world in both temperate and sub tropical climates. Their are species and cultivars that will grow in most places, from dry arid climates to wet, cool temperate places.

If you want to learn more, this course is a very unique opportunity to make an in depth study of the Grevilleas, and receive personalised guidance from people with extensive resources and experience in the subject.


How Are Grevilleas Propagated? 

Most cross pollinate both within the species and with other species, relatively easily. This often creates a lot of variation in characteristics (e.g. flower colour, size, shape, and even hardiness), within a species. The ease of hybridization has the following implications: 
  • If you want reliable plants with known characteristics, they need to be propagated vegetatively. They are most commonly propagated by cuttings; but some are also grafted.
  • If you want to develop new cultivars, it is relatively easy to cross pollinate in a controlled breeding program.
  • New cultivars can also result from plants selected from the wild (because of the great diversity found within wild specimens).

Growing Grevilleas Anywhere

Grevilleas are natives of Australia, but have become increasingly popular in some other parts of the world. It is not uncommon to see them growing anywhere from California to England. The range of hybrids and species cultivars is very large and increasing rapidly with the activity of breeders and nurserymen around the world.

These plants have great deal of potential for many reasons; not the least their tendency to flower for extended periods, and their adaptability to a wide range of climates. However, only the hardier types can be grown successfully in cooler temperate regions. 

Grevilleas include all sizes of shrubs, trees and groundcovers. Along with the variety in both flower and foliage colour; this makes them attractive plants in a wide range of landscape situations. Grevilleas are planted extensively in parks, ornamental gardens, public landscapes, and along roadsides. They are also grown as container plants and there are species which are suited to most types of soils and climates.

Around the world, grevilleas are grown everywhere from the United Kingdom to the United States, and Israel to New Zealand. In Australia, they are one of the most widely cultivated native genera and can be found in hot and humid tropical climates to the snow covered mountains in the south. They are used for land rehabilitation on degraded sites, for windbreaks on farms, and as street trees in suburban areas.

The wood of many grevilleas species has been used in construction, cabinet making and wood turning. The availability of grevillea wood is limited, and for this reason, it is more likely to be used for high quality cabinet making or wood turning.  Silky Oak (G. robusta) furniture and decorative items can often be found which are made by high end craftsmen in regional areas around Australia.
The flowers of many species contain sweet nectar which indigenous people would sometimes eat – either by sucking the flowers or soaking them in water to make a sweet drink which is said to be rich in vitamin C. Grevilleas also show some potential for other medicinal uses. Some preliminary research has suggested they may have use in treating cardiovascular conditions because they contain striatol. 

Pigments extracted from the leaves have also been used to dye fabrics, particularly silk. It has also been used to create charcoal.



Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)A graduate of Burnley Horticultural College; Rosemary has over 30 years of experience in horticulture. Her training was extensive covering both amenity and production horticulture; developing pactical skills and a deep understanding of the sciences that underpin horticulture. She worked with the Agriculture Dept in Victoria as a consultant or advisor to both farmers and home gardeners. Over the years, her experience has been as broad as her training, working on radio with ABC radio, a garden editor (with several major publications) and as a teacher, writer, garden designer and consultant. Rosemary has led several garden tours to the UK and Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has written six gardening books and collaborated on many others. Rosemary brings a unique personality, knowledge base and passion to the school; an an infectious love of horticulture in support of our students. She holds a B.Sc Hort,, Dip.Hort.Sc., Dip. Advertising & Marketing and B.Ed.
John Mason (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Nurseryman, Landscaper, Garden Writer, Parks Manager and Consultant. Over 45 years experience; working in Australia and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 100 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.

Check out our eBooks

Landscaping with Australian PlantsThink outside the box when designing your garden- have you considered using Australian Native plants? Add a different dimension to your garden using these beautiful and practical plants. Ideal for landscape gardeners, students and gardening enthusiasts, this ebook is a great read with stunning colour pictures.
BanksiasLearn more about Banksias in this 62 page ebook with pictures. Knowing which banksia to plant can be difficult given the different growing conditions.
Growing & Knowing GrevilleasThe Growing and Knowing Grevilleas ebook explains everything that you need to know about Grevillias. If you are landscaping or designing a new garden, you should consider including Grevilleas in your design. This stunning ebook comprises of 134 pages of great information about Grevilleas and has been written by John Mason and staff of ACS Distance Education. Why not step outside the of the everyday and discover some magnificent plants for your garden- Grevilleas? As there are shrubs, trees and ground cover included in this genus, this is such a versatile plant.
Starting a Garden or Landscape BusinessExpert advice on how to get started in your own garden or landscape business! Packed with valuable business advice, horticultural and landscaping knowledge, and practical ideas - this book is a must have for garden lovers. It is great for anyone thinking about (or already involved in), a horticultural, landscaping or garden business. This updated re-print is only available as an ebook.