Banksia robur

Distribution Map
Family: Proteaceae
Distribution: From Gladstone, Queensland, to southern New South Wales with an isolated occurrence on Cape York Peninsula, generally in sandy and swampy situations.
Common Name: Swamp banksia
Derivation of Name: Banksia...after Sir Joseph Banks.
robur...from Latin robur; hard wood, so named in the mistaken belief that the plant was a large tree.
Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild.

General Description:

Banksia robur is a small to medium shrub, 2 to 3m high and wide. The large leaves are stiff, leathery, egg-shaped, broadest at the tip, shiny above, dull beneath, margins toothed, 10-30cm x 6-10cm.

Banksia robur
Banksia robur; flower buds
Photo: Brian Walters

Banksia robur
Banksia robur
Photo: Brian Walters

Heads of blue-green flower buds arise from the junctions of branches and form into dense greenish-yellow flower heads 6-15cm in length, changing to dull orange and brown with age. This species can flower from seed in 3 years and flowers can occur at any time of year but are most commonly seen in winter or early spring. Seeds are held in hairy, woody follicles which are retained on the plant for a considerable period.

The species will tolerate poor soils and poor drainage and has been used as a rootstock for less hardy species. It naturally occurs in wet areas (hence the common name) on sandy soils and appreciates extra water, especially when actively growing and during dry spells.

Propagation from seed is reliable.

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