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No. 155: Grevillea Hilliana,


White Yiel Yiel.


Botanical description.

— Genus, Grevillea. (See Part 1, p. 1.)

Botanical description.

— Species, G. Hilliana, F. Muell., in Trans. Phil. Inst. Vict., ii, 72 (1858).

The original description is in the following words:—

Branchlets brown silky, leaves large, ovate oblong, blunt, entire or pinnatifid, cuneate at the base, flat, net-veined, above glabrous, beneath silvery-silky; their segments oblong lanceolate; racemes axillary and lateral, solitary, pedunculate, silky, densely many-flowered; bracts minute, lanceolate, deciduous; calyx small, inside and style glabrous, stigma orbicular, nearly lateral, umbonate at its centre.

In forests at the Pine River of Moreton Bay. Hill and Mueller. A magnificent forest tree which I wished to bear the name of its discoverer, Mr. Walter Hill, the Director of the Botanic Gardens, Brisbane.

Later on Bentham described it as follows:—

A large tree, young branches minutely tomentose.

Leaves petiolate, either entire obovate-oblong or elliptical, Very obtuse, tapering at the base and 6 to 8 inches long, or still longer and deeply divided at the end into 2 or 3 diverging lobes, or deeply pinnatifid with 5 to 7 oblong or lanceolate lobes of several inches, the whole leaf then sometimes above 1 foot long, glabrous above, penniveined and reticulate with the primary veins confluent in an intramarginal nerve, more or less silvery-silky underneath.

Flowers small and very numerous in dense cylindrical racemes of 4 to 8 inches, on short axillary shoots, accompanied often by 1 or 2 smaller racemes.

Pedicels about 1 line long, minutely pubescent as well as the rhachis.

Perianth minutely silky outside, glabrous or scarcely pubescent inside, the tube slender, about 3 lines long, revolute under the globular limb.

Torus straight.

Gland semiannular, not very prominent.

Ovary glabrous, stipitate; style long and slender, the stigmatic disk lateral.

Fruit slightly compressed, nearly 1 inch long.

Seed rather narrowly winged all round. (B.Fl. v, 463.)

Botanical Name.

— Grevillea, already explained (see Part 1, p. 2) Hilliana, in honour of Walter Hill, sometime Director of the Botanic Gardens, Brisbane, as already explained. For biographical notes of this officer, see my "Records of Queensland Botanists," Proc. A.A.A.S., Brisbane Meeting, 1909, p. 377.

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Vernacular Name.

— The name "Yiel Yiel" or "Yill-Gill" is applied to several proteaceous trees, e.g., Stenocarpus sinuatus and Grevillea robusta, as well as to G. Hilliana. I suggest the name "White Yiel Yiel" for G. Hilliana in allusion to the colour of the timber and silvery appearance of the underside of the leaves, though whether the name is original on my part I do not remember. "Silky Oak" is a name also applied to this tree, in common with many others of the Proteaceæ.

Aboriginal Name.

— "Yiel Yiel" (the name is variously spelt) is a name of aboriginal origin applied in northern New South Wales and in Queensland to proteaceous trees, as already indicated. What the meaning of it is, or to what extent it had definiteness with the aborigines, I do not know.


— Below see a note on some leaves which. are very pinnatifid. Those figured in the drawing are not so, and the plate represents the leaves as ordinarily observed in this species. Particularly as regards the Proteaceæ, we want plenty of field observations in regard to variation of organs yet.


— Hard, durable, and beautifully grained; used for coopers' work, cabinet work, veneers, &c. It is, however, but very little known, being usually cut up and mixed with the timber of two other Silky Oaks — Grevillea robasta and Orites excelsa.


— A tree of 50 or 60 feet, and with a diameter of 2 or 3 feet.


— This tree is confined to Queensland and the Northern Rivers of New South Wales. Following, are the localities given in the Flora Australiensis:—

Queensland. — Brisbane River, Moreton Bay (W. Hill, F. Mueller); Rockingham Bay (Dallachy).

New South Wales. — From the Clarence to the Tweed River (C. Moore).

Mr. F. M. Bailey, in his "Queensland Flora," adds "Logan and Albert Rivers" (Hill). A Queensland specimen in the National Herbarium, Sydney, bears the label in Leichhardt's handwriting, "Dinnangurumbin B.B. Brush, 18th. Sept., 1843." The precise locality could doubtless be traced by perusal of Leichhardt's journals. This specimen was labelled G. Hilliana by Mueller himself. Its leaves are very pinnatifid, are in leaf only; and I cannot say from the material alone whether it is different from G. pinnatifida, Bail. New South Wales specimens in the National Herbarium, Sydney, are: Mullumbimby, Brunswick River (W. Baeuerlen), and Casino, Upper Richmond River (Forester W. P. Pope).

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Plate 159: White Yiel Yiel. (Grevillea Hilliana, F.v.M.) Lithograph by Margaret Flockton.

  • A. Flowering twig
  • B. Flower bud.
  • C. Expanded flower, showing
    • (a) Four-lobed corolla with stamens.
    • (b) Pistil.
  • D. Portion of corolla-lobe with stamen (sessile antlier) in the concave laminæ.
  • E. Pedicel with pistil (corolla removed).
    • (a) Pedicel.
    • (b) Disc.
    • (c) Stipitate ovary.
    • (d) Lateral stigma.
  • F. Stigma.
  • G. Follicles.
  • H. Seed, winged all round.

The plate was drawn from specimens obtained from the Tweed River, with name of collector not available.

Supplementary Material Added With Volume 5

No. 155. Part XLIII.

Grevillea Hilliana, F.v.M.




Tree in the Government Domain, Sydney, near the old Technological Museum. It is being tested as an avenue tree for the Sydney district. Spikes of flowers cream-coloured.

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