Etymology: Genus name commemorating ‘Sir Joseph Banks’. robur is Latin for strength, referring to hard wood.
Common Name: Swamp Banksia.
Origin: Sandy heathlands and swampy heathlands of NSW and Qld Australia. Has three distinct regions – Wollongong to SW Rocks, Brunswick Heads to Rockhampton and Cairns to Cooktown.
Description: Woody shrub, variable height from around 2m but to 3.5m when crowded or grown in the shade. Several stems arise from lignotube which may be prominent.
Foliage: Obvate to oblong up to 30cm long. Irregular serrations and wavy margins. Shiny dark green above with distinct gold midrib and rusty tomentose underneath. New growth velvety and pink.
Flowers: Dense cylindrical, terminal spike. Starts bluish green as buds and lightens to lime green and finally opening to pale yellow. Tipped with black pollen presenters.
Fruit: Greyish woody follicles partially hidden by spent flowers. Lasts on plant for many years.
Growth Requirements: Prefers full sun but okay in part shade. Tolerates temporary inundation or periodically wet or waterlogged soils. Likewise tolerates dry soils.
Uses: Second line coastal plantings, native gardens, attracts birds – seed, nectar and insect eaters. Contrast plant and cut flowers.
Propagation: Seed in spring or summer.
Sources of Information:
- Own Photography.
- Own Tafe Horticultural notes.