Banksia ericifolia: is commonly known as the Heath-leaved Banksia and is a member of the Proteaceae family. The Heath-leaved Banksia is very popular in cultivation and has proved to be hardy, fast growing and free flowering. The species is native to New South Wales and occurs along the coast and ranges. Banksia ericifolia has been split into two subspecies. Botanically there are differences but our feeling is that horticulturally they may be considered as one species.
The common name refers to the small, linear, bright green leaves. The foliage is different from the foliage of any other eastern Banksia. Heath-leaved Banksia will grow into a compact shrub up to five metres high by four metres wide. In exposed situations plants may be much smaller.
The cylindrical flower spikes may be up to 25 centimetres long. The flowers are orange-red and appear in autumn and winter. Flowers are rich in nectar and are attractive to honeyeaters. A mature plant may carry dozens of flower spikes. To see a Banksia ericifolia in full flower is one of life’s rich horticultural experiences.
The species has an interesting horticultural history. Banksia ericifolia was introduced into cultivation in the United Kingdom in 1788. The species is also grown in the Hawaiian Islands for the cut flower trade.
The Heath-leaved Banksia could be cultivated as a “stand-alone” specimen or as a component of shrubberies and native hedgerows.
The image shows a specimen from Popran National Park on the Central Coast of NSW.
Propagate from seed or cuttings.