|Distribution:||South west of Western Australia in open forest.|
|Common Name:||Urchin Dryandra|
|Derivation of Name:||Dryandra...after Jonas Dryander, a swedish botanist.
praemorsa...from Latin, praemorsus, bitten off, referring to the appearance of the ends of the leaves.
|Conservation Status:||Not considered to be at risk in the wild.|
Dryandra is a large genus of 135 species in the Protea family. Their nearest relative is the genus Banksia but, unlike the banksias, Dryandra occurs naturally only in Western Australia (Banksia can be found in all states and one species one even extends its range to islands to Australia's north). Many authorities now include Dryandra in an expanded Banksia genus (see box).
|Dryandra praemorsa var. praemorsa (Banksia undata var. undata)
Photo: Brian Walters
|Dryandra praemorsa var. splendens
(Banksia undata var. splendens)
Photo: Margaret Pieroni
Dryandra praemorsa is probably the most widely cultivated species in the genus and one of the easiest to grow. There are two recognised varieties; var.praemorsa and var.splendens. The latter is distinguished by being larger overall with larger leaves and flowers. The flowers of var.splendens are sometimes pink, in contrast to the usual bright yellow colour.
The species is a large shrub which may reach 3 metres x 2 metres. The leaves are slightly lobed with short spines but these are not particularly pungent and do not cause any difficulty in handling the plant. As indicated by the specific name, the leaves have a "chopped off" appearance. The flower clusters may be up to 60mm in diameter and occur at the ends of the branches in spring. They are popular as cut flowers.
D.praemorsa is a spectacular, fast-growing plant which will grow and flower in subtropical climates but may not be long lived in those areas. In less humid areas the species has proven itself to be very reliable and would be a feature in any garden. The pink flowering form is particularly attractive.
Propagation from seed is relatively easy and cuttings are also successful. This species has been successfully grafted onto Banksia serrata and B.spinulosa var.spinulosa. Grafting should extend the range of successful cultivation.