Rarely seen in cultivation: Banksia oblongifolia

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I had to pull over again and stop and take photos as soon as this Banksia caught my eye in a quiet inner city suburb. It was planted in the prize position next to the front gate near the letter box on a corner block and was stealing the show of a lovely native front garden.



This is Banksia oblongifolia, isn’t it beautiful? When I did a little reproach on this banskia the same thing kept coming up ‘rarely seen in cultivation’ or ‘not often used in residential gardens’ bah! why?!


Look at all those flowers! check out the dense habit! and it grows in full sun or part shade withstands plenty of moisture and is perfectly sized for small gardens. It also provides shelter for small birds and food for lorikeets and honeyeaters, encouraging the birdlife of a garden.


Banksia oblongifolia is one of those Banksia species that has bright red furry new growth too, a big feature in my book.


There are many wonderful native plants that are under utilised in the home garden and I would dearly like to think that I could cover and represent a large portion of them here on my blog, however even I am aware how ambitious that is 😉 So if you are looking for a small compact feature Banksia at around 1.5 metres high and have already done your dash with all the Banksia spinulosa hybrids maybe you should try oblongifolia.


Banksia oblongifolia was just one plant in this pretty amazing front garden, in the image above you can see Thyptomene ‘F.C Payne’ next to it then a Ceraptopelatum sps. being used as a screen.


There were two gorgeous small Eucalypts on either side of the pathway, they seemed like small varieties and if I had to name them I might suggest they were Eucalyptus ‘Little Spotty’…but if anyone else has an idea please let me know?


Unfortunately they weren’t in flower so it makes IDying them difficult, I love the Xanthorrhoea planted underneath with the sandstone bird dish.



There was also a Eucalyptus caesia ‘Silver Princess’ planted on the boundary which was budding up nicely, obviously well loved and cared for.



This garden had fantastic street address due to the Banksia oblongifolia flowering but also because of the great feature Eucalyptus species, it was well laid out with all the plants given plenty of room to shine even on a difficult corner block. I love to spontaneously stop and admire gardens like this 🙂



8 responses to “Rarely seen in cultivation: Banksia oblongifolia”

  1. El

    Hi there, I was wondering whether you’ve had any luck IDing the Eucalypts here? They strike me as a little bit more pink than little spotty? I’m keen to plant some similar though, so I’d be really grateful if you can shed any light? Thanks 🙂

  2. Sarah Meyer

    Hi, I’d also love to know what that small eucalyptus was? Thanks

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Sarah,

      I am having trouble getting ID’s for those trees, I have just been informed from someone at http://austraflora.com that they may be Eucalyptus camaldulensis….(I’m not so sure) I thought they might be in their dwarf Eucalyptus range? Any other suggestions?

      Best Wishes,


  3. Kath Gadd

    Hi Everyone,

    I have had two confirmations that the Eucalyptus species is camaldulensis or River Red Gum, therefore these trees are not dwarf varieties and will become sizeable canopy trees.


  4. Carol

    What fertilisers do you recommend for natives.
    Can you use the same for grasses, bushes and trees. Do you use a different one for Proteaceae?

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Carol,

      I use a native slow release fertiliser which is very low in phosphorus for most native plants. I have also found the agriform tree tablets to be great for native trees to encourage quick leaf growth. The organic pelletised fertiliser called ‘Bushtucker’ is also good for natives, just use it sparingly around any plants from the Proteacea family.
      Hope this info helps,

      Best Wishes,


  5. Orlando B.


    I live in the Little Mountain, QLD region and I would like to plant a regionally native Eucalyptus and I was thinking of E. tereticornis or the ‘Forest Red Gum’, what do you think about that one for a normal suburban garden?

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Orlando,

      Eucalyptus tereticornis would be classified as a large Eucalypt, what is the size of your garden and how much space will it have to spread out?
      You should consider your neighbours too, will it go over the fence into their yard or overhang their roof? Sadly there are so many strained neighbour relationships caused by trees, I know as my trees cause my neighbours a lot of stress ….. How about Eucalyptus racemosa? or molluccana? I found them on this website http://bushlandconservation.com.au/community-resources/fauna-management/koala-food-tree-species/
      If you make sure you plant them in the middle of your garden they should have plenty of space without offending anyone and still be a wonderful feature /shade tree.

      Good Luck!


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