Banksia lemanniana is a shrub from 1.5 to about 5 metres in height. The leaves are broadly elliptical with toothed margins to about 75-90 mm long with a truncated tip. The new growth is often an attractive rusty colour. The obovoid inflorescences are seen in spring to summer and they are unusual in that they are pendulous on short lateral branchlets, a feature shared by only a few other species (eg. B.aculeata, B.caleyi, B.nutans, B.rosserae). The inflorescences are greenish-yellow to yellow in bud and, at maturity, are up to 100 mm in diameter and lemon-yellow in colour.
This species does not develop a lignotuber and is killed by fire. It relies on seed for regeneration.
Banksia lemanniana is not often seen in cultivation. However, it is a particularly attractive species that should be tried in various areas to determine its suitability for cultivation. It is probably best suited to areas with a dry summer and may be difficult to maintain in humid areas such as the east coast of New South Wales and Queensland. However, it has been grown to flowering size by enthusiasts in those areas suggesting that it may be more resistant to root rot fungus (Phytophora) than many other species from the west. It requires sandy, well drained soils in full sun or partial shade. It will tolerate pruning but not below existing foliage.
Propagation from seed is reliable without pre-treatment and cuttings also succeed but may be slow to strike and success rate may be well below 100%.
Photo: Gwyn Clarke