Common Name: Coast (Coastal) Banksia.
Etymology: Banksia: After Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820) patron of natural sciences who also sailed around the world with Captain Cook 1768-71. integrifolia: entire, undivided (leaves).
Origin: Coastal Victoria to central Queensland Australia.
Description: Medium sized tree up to 25 metres in height, but in sheltered locations it can reach 35 metres. In more exposed areas it may grow as a small, gnarled and twisted tree, reaching no more than about 5 metres, and in highly exposed coastal headlands, it may even be reduced to a small shrub.
Foliage: Dark green above & silvery-white hairs below with prominent midrib. Leaves are 4-20 cm long & 6-35 mm wide, oblong to narrow lanceolate or wedge shaped with a short stalk.
Bark: Hard, rough, light grey, sometimes fissured with granular appearance.
Flowers: Pale-yellow, tubular, 22-25 mm long with wiry, straight, protruding styles, grouped in cylindrical terminal upright spikes, 5-15 cm long & 5- 8 cm diameter. Flowers mainly in Summer, Autumn & early winter.
Fruit: Grey oblong to cylindrical cones, 7-15 cm long & 7-8 cm diameter with numerous brown protruding follicles, 8-17 mm long, usually containing 2 black winged ovate seeds, released at maturity.
Growth Requirements: Well drained sandy-sandy loam soil in sunny to part-shade position. Plant will not tolerate waterlogged soil.
Uses: Coastal, poor & sandy soils, Australian native gardens, bird attracting.
Maintenance: Little maintenance is required as plant is quite hardy. Regular deep watering will help establish plant in the first 12 months and a low phosphorus fertilizer (use Australian Native) can be used very sparingly.
Propagation: Is easy from seed. A common way to release seed is to place the ‘cone’ in an oven at 120°140° C for about an hour. The follicles then open and the seeds can be removed with tweezers. Seeds should be sown in a very freely draining seed-raising mix which should not be allowed to dry out. As Banksia seedlings are prone to fungal attack, it is better to sterilise the seed-raising mix before planting. If this is not practical, very clean ingredients should be used. Propagation from cutting is the only reliable way to maintain a selected form, but success can often be difficult.
- Leonard Cronin Key Guide.