I saw this particular Banksia robur at Wireandra Nursery a couple of weeks ago, and could be heard to cry out ‘Wow those flowers have Aqua in them!’ once I go up closer I also noticed that at the end of each new flower there was also mauve!
I have long been in love with Banksia robur, I love all Banksias but this one has a special place in my heart as it doesn’t mind growing in a moist boggy position.
The new growth looks like a red furry flower and then turns into a soft lilac star with an orange centre.
To birds such as the honeyeaters the flower heads are a valuable source of food. Banksia robur attracts White-cheeked Honeyeaters, Brown Honeyeaters, New Holland Honeyeaters and Little Wattlebirds in particular.
Banksia robur grows to about 3 metres high by 3 metres wide and if in perfect conditions with plenty of water will become a thick bushy shrub. It can also be under pruned to shape into a small feature tree.
The large lime green leaves make wonderful contrasting foliage to mix with other screening plants or low goring shrubs. In the image below you can see how well it works planted next to Grevillea pressii ‘Seaspray’.
As with many Banksia species the new flower is a sight to behold in its many stages of growing, the image below shows the almost pixelated appearance of a new flower spike.
Banksia robur occurs naturally in swamp lands from QLD all the way south to the Illawarra (although I have never seen it growing in the bush around here), it will take part shade and light frosts.
It responds well to pruning and is a very satisfying native plant to grow, I highly recommend it!