Banksias all over Australia are hitting their flowering stride this season, from Autumn until Spring is when most Banksia species will be covered in nectar rich flower spikes. Most people are familiar with the Dwarf Banksia spinulosa cultivars like ‘Birthday Candles’ and ‘Coastal Cushions’. This post is a little shout out to a lesser know Dwarf Banksia, a compact form of Banksia ericifolia, it has much smaller more pine like leaves and the flowers are a deeper orange through to red.

Banksia ericifolia ‘Little Eric’

Banksia ‘Little Eric’ grows to around 2 metres high x 1.5 metres wide, making it an excellent low screening shrub. It prefers a well drained soil in full sun for best flowering, I find it quite a slow growing species, like most Banksias, I plant them for future generations 😉

Banksia ericifolia ‘Little Eric’

Banksia ‘Little Eric’ flowers from Autumn through winter and into spring, the flowers first appear yellow and deepen to a rich orange with maroon styles. The fine green foliage is where the common name Heath banksia comes from, as the parent species is native to the NSW Central Coast. Banksia ericifolia grows naturally in the coastal woodland on very sandy soils, sometimes it can be found partly swampy sites however it doesn’t like extended periods of wet feet. Banksia ‘Little Eric’ tolerates cold, humidity, salt spray and acid or alkaline soils.

Banksia ericifolia ‘Little Eric’

Banksia ericifolia ‘Little Eric’ not only makes an excellent screening plant or windbreak it also is an attractive feature shrub due to its long flowering period, it also does well in a large container or pot. ‘Little Eric’ is attractive to honey eating birds and insects, and provides a dense bush for shelter and nesting.

Banksia ericifolia ‘Little Eric’

Like most Banksias ‘Little Eric benefits from a feed of Iron if the leaves turn yellow and a regualr application of slow release fertiliser for natives. You can prune the flowers off once they are spent and this will help maintain a neat, dense habit.

This medium sized shrub looks great combined with native grasses and weeping shrubs so the striking upright foliage can be accentuated.


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