Banksia paludosa

Distribution Map
Family: Proteaceae
Distribution: Open forests and woodlands of central and south eastern New South Wales with an outlying population on the north coast near Kempsey.
Common Name: Swamp Banksia
Derivation of Name: Banksia...after Sir Joseph Banks.
paludosa...from Latin paludosus; marshy, referring to the habitat of some forms of the species.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild at the species level.

General Description:

B.paludosa is a small to medium shrub and can be found in sizes ranging from prostrate to 4 metres in height. The leaves are elliptical in shape, deep green on top and silvery below. The flowers occur in narrow spikes which are typically about 100mm long, 70mm wide and pale yellow in colour. The seeds are enclosed in follicles attached to a woody cone and are generally retained within the cone until burnt.

Banksia paludosa subsp. paludosa
Banksia paludosa subsp. astrolux
Top: Banksia paludosa sunsp. paludosa in bud. Bottom: Banksia paludosa subsp. astrolux
Photos: Brian Walters

Two subspecies of B.paludosa are known: subsp.paludosa and subsp.astrolux. The main difference between the varieties is the lack of a lignotuber in subsp.astrolux. That variety may also be taller growing. Subsp.astrolux is confined to a small area near the Nattai River in the southern highlands of New South Wales.

Despite its common name few populations of B.paludosa occur in swampy areas. They are not demanding in regard to soil types but waterlogged ground should be avoided. B.paludosa has proven to be reliable in a wide range of climates and garden conditions and is best in full sun or dappled shade. Some low growing forms are becoming available and these form a very attractive garden plant with well displayed flowers. The adaptability of B.paludosa subsp.astrolux to cultivation is not known at this stage.

Propagation from seed or cuttings is relatively easy.

A similar species is B.oblongifolia which is found in eastern New South Wales and southern Queensland.

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