Plant of the month: Banksia oblongifolia (Dwarf banksia) is a multi-stemmed shrub, usually grows to 1 metre, is hardy and has cream-to-yellow flowers and oblong, serrated leaves.
(The photograph by Mary Boyce shows green coloration prior to full flowering.)
by Cooloola City Farm
Banksias are iconic Australian plants, named after Sir Joseph Banks who first collected specimens when Captain James Cook’s expedition sailed along Australia’s east coast.
May Gibbs traded on the unusual, face-like appearance of their seed cones to create her big, bad Banksia men in the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie stories which she wrote and illustrated in the 1940s.
Most Banksia species occur in the south west of Australia, but the east coast does have its own species and some of these are quite common in our vicinity. Few are found in arid areas or rainforest.
Banksias are attractive to honey-eating animals because of their nectar and to florists because of their beautiful flowers and the sculptural qualities of the leaves. People who want birds, colour, shape and texture in their gardens should consider these beauties.
Sizes vary from trees of about 25 metres to prostrate forms, but most are shrubs.
Flower heads also vary greatly in size and colours range from green through cream to orange and red. Flowering is often in autumn and winter when colour in the garden is really appreciated.
A reminder to our customers: Please bring in your latest rates notice to collect two free trees. This offer ends on May 31. If you don’t want the trees, still bring in your notice as the trees can be donated to Tin Can Bay or Rainbow Beach schools.
City Farm, opposite the Community Centre, on Tin Can Bay Road, is open to the public for plant sales on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am-3pm, 07 54862304, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cooloolacityfarm.org