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Banksia

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-BANKSIA-

About growing Banksia species:  They require ideal conditions, attention to drainage and details for optimum growth.  The Eastern Australia species tend to be more tolerant of humidity than the Western Australia species.  All require sun, sharp drainage and low to no phosphorous fertilizers.  Root rot can occur if drainage is not right and quickly kill a plant.  They are not an easy species to grow, although, given proper attention to details and environment, can produce some outstanding flowers.  Some of the dried Banksia flower pods can weigh up to 5 pounds.  Even for us, growing Banksia at our nursery is quite a challenge and we rarely only have a few plants on hand at any given time.

Banksia ashbyi - Golden Banksia: Rounded shrub to 9', large orange flower spikes 15 x 9 cm. Well drained soil + lime a must for survival. WA Zone 9. 
  Banksia attenuata - Coast Banksia, Slender Banksia: Shrub or small tree to 18'. Bright yellow flowers 20 x 7 cm, full to part sun, moderate frost, drought, sand, loam, damp, well-drained, windbreak, screen, slow growth, WA. Zone 9.
Banksia baueri  - Possum Banksia: Rounded shrub about 3' diameter, toothed leaves up to 130 mm, very large flower spikes 300 mm long x 150-200 mm diameter, cream to orange color, no lignotuber. Propagation by seed best as cuttings are slow to strike and success rate is low. Moderately frost tolerant. WA Zone 9.  
Banksia baxteri - Birds Nest Banksia: Shrub to 9' with yellow flowers, Excellent foliage and cut flower. WA Zone 9. 
Banksia blechnifolia -  Southern Blechnum Banksia: Prostrate plant with lignotuber and stems reaching 70 cm. Pink/reddish flowers. Excellent for rockery, one of the hardiest of the prostrate species. WA.  Zone 9.
Banksia burdettii - Burdett's Banksia: 8-12' tall with a dense, spreading habit. The 4" blooms are borne at the tips of branches look like giant acorns. It opens progressively from the base changing from pale gray to pale orange. Excellent cut flower. WA Zone 9. 
Banksia caleyi - Red Lantern Banksia: Bushy shrub to 6' x 4'. Maroon inverted flower spikes. Needs excellent drainage. WA Zone 9.  
  Banksia candolleana - Propeller banksia: 3-5' x 3-9', 5 seeds per gram, 50 mm (2") rainfall, sand.  WA.  Zone 9.
Banksia canei - Mountain Banksia: 3-6' tall with narrow, pointed leaves. Yellowish flower spikes from the highlands of Vic and NSW. Hardy plant that grows well.   Zone 9.
Banksia coccinea - Variable in size from 4' to 12' with toothed leaves and brilliant red flowers 8 cm diameter. Acid sand over limestone seems to be the best way to grow this one. WA Zone 9. 
Banksia cunninghamii Hairpin Banksia: From Queensland and Victoria area, similar to B. spinulosa but considered as a taller species growing to 18' in ideal conditions.  It prefers moist to well-drained soils in sun to part shade and tolerant or moderate to heavy frosts.  The flower spikes are yellow/orange and 4" x 12".  Qld - Zone 8.  It does not have a lignotuber and seed or cuttings are used for regeneration.
Banksia dryandroides  - Dryandra-leaf Banksia: Spreading shrub 1m high. Yellow flower spikes in fall. Fairly easy to grow in well drained, sandy soils. WA Zone 9.   
Banksia ericifolia - Heath Banksia - ornamental shrub to 4m - narrow dark green leaves - long bronze flower spikes, frost resistant. Vigorous grower, free branching, deep green foliage. 10" long spikes, color ranges can be orange to deep red and grows from 6 to 12'. One of the most easily cultivated Banksia species, does best out in the open.  Avoid phosphorus fertilizers.  NSW.  Zone 9.
  Banksia ericifolia var ericifolia A vigorous grower, very free branching with deep green foliage. The 10" long flower spike color ranges from orange to deep red.  The mature shrub size is from 6 to 12'.  Considered as one of the most easily cultivated Eastern Australia Banksia species.  Zone 9.
Banksia grandis Bull Banksia: Variable, spreading shrub 4' x 9' , or tree to 30'. Dark green, toothed leaves to 30 cm (12") long. Large yellow flower spikes 30 cm x 8 cm ( 12" x 3") diameter. WA.  Zone 9.
Banksia hookeriana - Acorn Banksia: Yellow flowered shrub 5-10' that grows in thickets in light sandy soil. Golden yellow flowers in 3" spikes. Gray-green saw tooth leaves.   WA.  Zone 9.
Banksia integrifolia - Coast Banksia. A gnarled tree up to 50' with lime green flowers fading to dull yellow. Distinctive dark green leaf above, silver backed leaves below. Makes rapid growth, especially in deep sandy soil.  Frost resistant. A species NOT susceptible to phosphorous toxicity.   Qld, Vic.  Zone 9.
  Banksia laricina Rose fruited Banksia:  West Australia.  Zone 9.
  Banksia lehmanniana - Lehmann's Banksia or Yellow Lantern Banksia: Unusual species as the flower spikes points towards the ground. Shrub up to 15' tall, stiff leaves and yellow flower spikes up to 4" long. WA. Zone 9.
  Banksia lindleyana - Porcupine Banksia or Echidna Banksia:  WA.  Zone 9.
  Banksia littoralis - Swamp Banksia:  WA.  Zone 9.
Banksia marginata - Silver Banksia - tree to 10m - oblong leaves, green above and silvery below - yellow flower spikes - enjoys moist but well drained conditions - frost resistant. NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas, SA.  Zone 8.
Banksia media - Shrub 3-9' with yellow flower spikes 20 cm long x 7 cm wide in autumn and winter. The easiest WA Banksia species to grow, usually forming a compact shrub. Good drainage and full sun needed, some salt spray tolerance noted. WA.  Zone 9. 
Banksia meisneri -  Small shrub 3' x 5', almost globular flower spikes with protruding yellow spikes in fall. Limestone underlay recommended. WA Zone 9. 
Banksia menziesii (not dwarf) - Firewood Banksia: Firewood Banksia: Small tree 18-21' with cylindrical flower spikes 15 cm x 9 cm pink to red to silver. WA Zone 9.
  Banksia menziesii dwarf - Similar to above but only reaching 3-6' and reported to bloom well when 3' tall. Ultimate height about 6' with a compact habit. 
  Banksia oblongifolia - (B. aspleniifolia) Fern-leaved Banksia: Shrub to about 6' high and wide, often forming a lignotuber base. Flowers are yellow/green in spikes to about 10 cm long. NSW, Qld. Zone 9.
Banksia occidentalis - Red swamp Banksia.  WA.  Zone 9
  Banksia oreophila - (B. quercifolia var integrifolia) Mountain Banksia, Western Mountain Banksia: Erect shrub 6' x 3', cylindrical gray flower spikes 8 cm long. WA Zone 9. 
  Banksia ornata - Rounded shrub 6' x 4'. Grayish, toothed leaves to 8 cm. Cylindrical flower spike to 10 cm, green or yellowish brown. Vic, SA. Zone 9.
Banksia paludosa - Marsh Banksia: Low spreading shrub about 4-5'. Pale yellow to brownish flowers. Well drained soil, slow growing. Zone 10.Handsome spreading shrub with dark green leaves and white undersurface. It has yellow flowers from fall to winter. Tolerant of frost and is slow growing. Prefers well-drained soils in full or partial sun. Excellent container plant. NSW Zone 9.
  Banksia pilostylis - Marsh Banksia: spreading shrub with dense foliage and creamy yellow flowers.
  Banksia praemorsa - Cut-leaf Banksia: Dense, upright, ornamental banksia very adaptable to a wide range of well-drained soils and positions. It is tolerant of frost, extended dry periods, strong winds and coastal exposure. Large yellow or wine red flower heads. 
Banksia prionotes - Orange Banksia, Acorn Banksia: Tall shrub or small tree to 24' (usually less in cultivation) with orange flower spikes to 18 cm long x 8 cm diameter. Well drained soils with lime. WA Zone 9.
  Banksia pulchella - Teasel Banksia, Dainty Banksia:  WA.  Zone 9.  
Banksia repens - Creeping banksia: 4" pinkish/brown flowers on 20" tall, spreading plant. WA.  Zone 9.
Banksia robur - Swamp Banksia: Shrub to 6' with large leaves and lignotuber. The large greenish-yellow flower spikes are up to 6" long and it does best in damp soil, sunny conditions, found in swampy areas. Buds are blue-green with large lime-green leaves. Tolerates wet areas and summer watering. Grows best in partial shade in inland areas. Great container plant. Here is one that tolerates wet! NSW, Qld. Zone 9.
  Banksia sceptrum - Sceptre Banksia: One of the largest flowers of the Banksia species, the flower are up to 20 cm (8") long.  The flowers are pale yellow to whitish in color.  This species prefers a well drained soil, acid or alkaline.  The foliage is a dull blue/gray/green color with serrated leaves.  Plants grow to about 6' high x 10' wide.  A drought tolerant species.  West Australia.  Zone 9.
  Banksia seminuda red - River Banksia: Red flower spikes.  WA.  Zone 9.
Banksia serrata - Saw Banksia, Old Man Banksia: A salt resistant coastal species that prefers warm climates and light sandy soil with full or part shade. Cone shaped flowers can grow to 8" and is a creamy gray color. Unusual short contorted crooked trunk, can grow up to 40'. Moderately frost hardy and found on coastal dunes and sandstone ranges. SE Australia, NSW, QLD, Vic, Tas.  Zone 8.
  Banksia solandri - Solander's Banksia: shrub/small tree, brown flowers, drought/frost tolerant. WA Zone 9. 
  Banksia speciosa Showy Banksia: To 15' with showy flower heads and serrated foliage.  West Australia.  Zone 9.
  Banksia sphaerocarpa - A rounded shrub to 4' with globular flower spikes. Limestone underlay suggested. WA Zone 9.
  Banksia spinulosa var collina: Hair-pin banksia.  A rather dense shrub to 6' useful as a screen.  The flowers are bright yellow, with sytles ranging in color from yellow to deep red.  Good drainage essential.  Generally found along coastal New South Wales.  Zone 8.
  Banksia spinulosa var spinulosa - Closely related to B. spinulosa, small shrub 4-5'.  Orange and black flowers, requires acidic soil, frost resistant.  Qld, NSW, VIC.  Zone 9.
Banksia victoriae - Woolly Orange Banksia: Medium shrub 6-15'.  WA.  Zone 9
  Banksia violaceae - Violet Banksia: A small shrub with violet to purple flowers.  WA.  Zone 9.
 
Eastern vs Western Australia Banksia species listing which may be helpful.
 
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