Cooloola City Farm celebrates Banksias

Plant of the month: Banksia aemula (Wallum banksia)

Plant of the month: Banksia aemula (Wallum banksia)

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, ccfni09@gmail.com,  www.cooloolacityfarm.org

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 school.

This month we will continue the discussion of the genus Banksia. Banksias like a sunny, well-drained position, though some species, such as B. robur (Swamp banksia) thrive in moist, though not water-logged, soil.

The nectar from the spectacular flower heads attracts birds and small mammals to the garden. Banksias are long-lived, can be pruned or kept in their familiar gnarled form and present an interesting display as the flower heads change form as they age.

Banksias available at the moment at City Farm are:

B.integrifolia (Coastal banksia) – a tree to 15 m, resistant to sea spray, hardy, golden flowers, fruit with many woody follicles and leaves silver underneath.

B.robur (Swamp banksia) – grows to 2m, has large flowers to 20cm, which are blue-green early and golden when mature, leaves are large and leathery, benefits from pruning, very hardy.

B.spinulosa (Golden candlesticks) – a shrub to 3m, golden to orange flowers, enjoys light shade and copes with full sun.

Plant of the month: Banksia aemula (Wallum banksia) – a tree to 3m+, grows naturally in dry heath, has narrow, oblong leaves, pale cream-to-yellow flowers to 20cm in length, large cones with very prominent follicles Image Mary Boyce