Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Colquhoun Grevillea Grevillea celata - National Recovery Plan (Carter, O. & N. Walsh, 2006i) [Recovery Plan].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
VIC:Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 211-Colquhoun Grevillea Grevillea celata (Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (Vic. DSE), 2008n) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Vulnerable (Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria: 2005)
Scientific name Grevillea celata [64907]
Family Proteaceae:Proteales:Magnoliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author Molyneux
Infraspecies author  
Reference Muelleria 8: 311 (1995).
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Grevillea celata.

Common name: Colquhoun Grevillea.

Other Names: Nowa Nowa Grevillea.

Conventionally accepted as Grevillea celata (CHAH 2012).

The Colquhoun Grevillea is a root-suckering shrub growing to 1.8 m tall. The species grows in an erect and open, or low and dense, form. The leaves are ovate (egg-shaped), alternate, up to 44 mm long and 18 mm wide. Leaves are hairy, grey-green above, with the lower surface almost white and densely hairy. Leaf margins curve under, sometimes almost obscuring the lower surface. Flowers are red and yellow with curved tubes about 12 mm long, hairy on the outside, densely hairy inside, splitting into four petals to release a red, hairy style (internal part of a flower) which measures up to to 25 mm long. The fruit is a leathery, hairy capsule with longitudinal ridges, which split to release winged seeds (Molyneux 1995b; Walsh & Entwisle 1996).

The Colquhoun Grevillea is endemic to Victoria. It occurs in the Colquhoun State Forest in central east Gippsland (east-south-east of Bruthen) (Makinson 2000b; Molyneux 1995b), 270 km east of Melbourne (Vic DSE 2006).

The total extent of occurrence of all known populations is about 11 km2 (Carter & Walsh 2006i; Vic DSE 2008n).

The total population size of the species is approximately 1500 plants. Nine sub-populations of the Colquhoun Grevillea are known from Colquhoun State Forest (Carter & Walsh 2006i) and occur at the following sites:

  • Reformatory Road: 60-175 plants
  • Watershed Road: about 40 plants
  • Dead Horse Creek Road: 80-175 plants
  • Lyles Break: about 30 plants
  • Stony Creek 1: about 750 plants
  • Stony Creek 2: about 375 plants
  • Lambourne Break: 25 plants
  • Lambourne Break A: 1 plant
  • Lambourne Break B: 5-28 plants

No sub-population of the Colquhoun Grevillea is within a reserve. As part of the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries' Biodiversity Action Plan for the Bairnsdale Foothills, the Bruthen & District Landcare Group undertook propagation of the Colquhoun Grevillea with 50 plants being established at 15 sites on properties within 20 km of the known range of the species. These ex-situ populations will be used for future propagation if a catastrophic event, such as a wildfire, occurs in known populations (Bruthen & District Landcare Group 2010).

The Colquhoun Grevillea grows on orange-red siliceous capping (rocky layer often overlaying softer materials) sands of apparently Tertiary age (McAndrew & Marsden 1973) with low humus levels, and on and around small, low-relief Devonian-Silurian granite outcrops in granitic sand (Makinson 2000b). The species has also been observed on gravelly clay-loams (Walsh pers. obs. cited in Carter & Walsh 2006i). Elevations at which it occurs range from 140—300 m above sea level, with the terrain tending to be flat or with a slight northerly aspect (Carter & Walsh 2006i). The species appears absent from the black, humic Tertiary sands that often abut the preferred soils (Molyneux 1995b).

Sub-populations are known to occur in heathy open-forest with an overstorey of Yertchuk (Eucalyptus consideniana), Mountain Grey-gum (E. cypellocarpa), White Stringybark (E. globoidea), Red Stringybark (E. macrorhyncha), Silvertop Ash (E. sieberi) or Messmate Stringybark (E. obliqua) (Carter & Walsh 2006i).

Associated understorey species include Spreading Wattle (Acacia genistifolia), Myrtle Wattle (A. myrtifolia), Sunshine Wattle (A. terminalis), Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata), Spiny Bossiaea (Bossiaea obcordata), Shiny Cassinia (Cassinia longifolia), Common Heath (Epacris impressa), Silky Guinea-flower (Hibbertia sericea), Grey Guinea-flower (H. obtusifolia), Holly Lomatia (Lomatia ilicifolia), Prickly Broom Heath (Monotoca scoparia), Leafy Purple-flag (Patersonia glabrata), Handsome Flatpea (Platylobium formosum), Austral Bracken (Pteridium esculentum), Blunt Bush-pea (Pultenaea retusa), Nodding Blue-lily (Stypandra glauca), Hairy Pink-bells (Tetratheca pilosa) and Small Grass-tree (Xanthorrhoea minor).

The Spiny Bossiaea is a good indicator of suitable habitat for the Colquhoun Grevillea, as this bossiaea is almost always present where this grevillea is found. Spiny Bossiaea is otherwise scattered throughout the forest, although not uniformly (Carter & Walsh 2006i; Vic DSE 2008n).

Flowers have been recorded from July to February. The species is most likely pollinated by birds and insects. Ant species that harvest and bury seeds may play an important role in germination (Molyneux 1995b). The Colquhoun Grevillea is known to sucker from roots; this is especially noticeable following fire, as plants regenerate via this method (Molyneux 1995b).

The Golden Grevillea (Grevillea chrysophaea) and the Cat's Claw Grevillea (Grevillea alpina) are similar in appearance to the Colquhoun Grevillea, however neither of these species sucker from the roots. In addition, the Golden Grevillea lacks red coloration on the perianth (outer part of the flower) and the Cat's Claw Grevillea has a more prominent tongue-like nectary (gland-like organ for nectar secretion) with a shorter pistil (part of the flower containing the female reproductive organs) (10—20.5 mm versus 18—25 mm long in the Colquhoun Grevillea) (Vic DSE 2008n; Walsh & Entwisle 1996).

Known threats to the Colquhoun Grevillea include (Carter & Walsh 2006i; Vic DSE 2008n):

Inappropriate Fire Regimes

Fire appears to be the critical limiting factor for the Colquhoun Grevillea. In many parts of its range, frequent cool fuel-reduction burns have resulted in high densities of common fire-promoted species such as Bracken Fern (Pteridium esculentum), which outcompete the Colquhoun Grevillea for light. The species responds slowly following fire and juveniles may be severely browsed by native herbivores during regrowth periods. For these reasons it tends to be confined to roadsides where high light levels prevail. The few locations that occur in bushland, which has a less frequent burning history contain the best representative populations. A 10-year fire cycle is suggested as most appropriate for the species.

Road and Road Reserve Maintenance

Road works and slashing are a potential threat to populations on roadsides. If road works occur too frequently, plants cannot reach maturity and reproduce. A population was largely destroyed in the course of upgrading the Bruthen-Nowa Nowa Road. Approximately 1000 nursery raised plants were translocated into this site with a high degree of success. A fall-back fire break, created at Dead Horse Creek Rd, also destroyed individuals during fire control works (BDFNC 2007). Road and track works also expose the species to the risk of infection with the root-rot fungus, Phytophthora cinnamomi.


Some plants exhibit grazing damage by macropods and, on occasions, insects.

Specific threats to Sub-populations

The threats at each known sub-population are (Carter & Walsh 2006i):

  • Reformatory Road: inappropriate fire regime, road works
  • Watershed Road: inappropriate fire regime, possibly native herbivore browsing or insect attack
  • Dead Horse Creek Road: inappropriate fire regime
  • Lyles Break: inappropriate fire regime
  • Stony Creek 1: grazing by native herbivores, insect attack and inappropriate fire regimes
  • Stony Creek 2: road works, vegetation clearance
  • Lambourne Break: road works, inappropriate burning regimes
  • Lambourne Break A: road works
  • Lambourne Break B: inappropriate fire regimes

The National Recovery Plan for the Colquhoun Grevillea identifies specific objectives to "minimise the probability of extinction of Grevillea celata in the wild and to increase the probability of important populations becoming self-sustaining in the long term." These objectives include:

  • acquiring accurate information for conservation status assessments
  • identifying habitat that is critical, common or potential
  • ensuring that all populations and their habitat are protected and managed appropriately
  • managing threats to populations
  • identifying key biological functions
  • determining the growth rates and viability of populations
  • establishing populations in cultivation
  • establishing cultivated plants in the wild, and
  • building community support for conservation.

The Victorian Department of Environment & Primary Industries' Action Plan No. 211 for the Colquhoun Grevillea also outlines specific objectives with associated actions for management of the species.

Documents that are relevant for the management of the Colquhoun Grevillea can be found at the start of the profile.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat loss, modification and degradation due to timber harvesting Colquhoun Grevillea Grevillea celata - National Recovery Plan (Carter, O. & N. Walsh, 2006i) [Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Colquhoun Grevillea Grevillea celata - National Recovery Plan (Carter, O. & N. Walsh, 2006i) [Recovery Plan].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Mechanical disturbance during construction, maintanance or recreational activities Colquhoun Grevillea Grevillea celata - National Recovery Plan (Carter, O. & N. Walsh, 2006i) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:unspecified Colquhoun Grevillea Grevillea celata - National Recovery Plan (Carter, O. & N. Walsh, 2006i) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Negative impact from animals Colquhoun Grevillea Grevillea celata - National Recovery Plan (Carter, O. & N. Walsh, 2006i) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Colquhoun Grevillea Grevillea celata - National Recovery Plan (Carter, O. & N. Walsh, 2006i) [Recovery Plan].

Bairnsdale and District Field Naturalists Club Inc (BDFNC) (2007). Submission to Environment & Natural Resources Committee re Inquiry into the Impact of Public Land Management Practices on Bushfires in Victoria. [Online]. Available from:

Bruthen & District Landcare Group (2010). East Gippsland Environmental Sustainability Toolkit- Saving the Grevillea.

Carter, O. & N. Walsh (2006i). Colquhoun Grevillea Grevillea celata - National Recovery Plan. [Online]. Available from:

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) (2010). Australian Plant Census. [Online]. Australian National Herbarium, Australian National Botanic Gardens and Australian Biological Resources Study . Available from:

Makinson, R.O. (2000b). Proteaceae 2 - Grevillea. In: Flora of Australia. 17A:1-524. Melbourne: ABRS/CSIRO.

McAndrew, J. & Marsden, M.A.H. (1973). Regional Guide to Victorian Geology, 2nd Edition. Geology Department, University of Melbourne.

Molyneux, W.M. (1995b). Grevillea celata (Proteaceae), a new species from Central Eastern Gippsland, Victoria. Muelleria. 8(3):311-316.

Victorian Department of Sustainability & Environment (Vic DSE) (2006). Forest Notes- Colquhoun State Forest. [Online]. Available from:

Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (Vic. DSE) (2008n). Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 211-Colquhoun Grevillea Grevillea celata. [Online]. Available from:

Walsh, N.G. & T.J. Entwisle (1996). Flora of Victoria. 3. Melbourne, VIC: Inkata Press.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Grevillea celata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:35:17 +1000.