Real World Gardener Swamp Banksia in Plant of the Week

December 6th, 2019

PLANT OF THE WEEK

Banksia robur: Swamp Banksia

Here we have a small tree that’s gnarly and twisted but its scientific name suggests that it will grow into a strong upright tree, possibly an English oak.

Regardless of the fact that the tree is nothing like an English oak, even though it is robust, the botanical name still remains.

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Banksia robur photo Adrian O'Malley

 

Which is strange, because botanists seem to like to change scientific names on a regular basis.

 

Let’s find out about it

 

I'm talking with Adrian O’Malley, horticulturist and native plant expert.

The flower spikes appear in autumn and winter, perfect for providing food for nectar feeding birds when food is scarce.

Not grey leaves this time, but they’re really large, up to 30cm in length and quite leathery, with wonderful bluish green flowers.

 

As Adrian says, if you buy a small Banksia robur expecting it to grow into a shrub, it may just start going sideways and there’s no pruning that will make it go upwards.

 

 

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Banksia robur photo Adrian O'Malley

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