Banksia Spinulosa - Cultivation - Cultivars


There are a number of commercial varieties available from Australian retail nurseries, four have been registered under plant breeders' rights legislation, and another with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority. The lack of official names has led to some varieties bearing several different names.

  • B. s. var. collina 'Carnarvon Gold' is an all-gold flowered form from Carnarvon Gorge in central Queensland with long leaves and revolute margins which grows to around 2–5 m (7–25 ft) in height and 2–4 m (7–14 ft) across. The old flowers fall from the spikes.
  • B. s. var. collina 'Stumpy Gold' is a spreading form (40 centimetres / 16 inches high by up to 1.2 metres / 3.9 feet across) with light gold flowers 15 centimetres (6 in) high by 6 centimetres (2 in) across from the vicinity of Catherine Hill Bay on the New South Wales Central Coast, propagated by Richard Anderson of Merricks Nursery. It arises from a silty loam so theoretically should tolerate a heavier soil than 'Coastal Cushion'. Leaves are a more subdued green with greyish tinge than the south coast NSW spinulosa cultivars.
  • B. s. var. spinulosa 'Birthday Candles', the original trailblazer, is a compact plant growing to 45 centimetres (18 in) tall and up to 1 metre (3 ft) across with red-styled gold flowers 15 cm high by 6 cm across. The leaves are narrow with attractive lime green new growth. Stems and branches naturally crooked. It was granted PBR status in 1989, after an application by Bill Molyneux of Austraflora Pty Ltd. The provenance of the original material was an exposed headland hear Ulladulla on the New South Wales South Coast. It appears to fare better in Mediterranean climates with reports of patchy performance in Sydney (though better in pots) and unreliability in Brisbane. There are reports of it flowering in alternate years only. It is reported to be an unreliable survivor, although this may be due to it being popular to novices.
  • B. s. var. spinulosa 'Cherry Candles', bred by Bill Molyneux from the 'Birthday Candles' cultivar, is a compact plant growing to 45 cm tall and up to 100 cm across with cherry red-styled gold flowers, darker than its parent, 15 cm high by 6 cm across. It was released commercially in Spring 2004, and granted PBR status in February 2005, after an application by Molyneux.
  • B. s. var. spinulosa 'Coastal Cushion' (= 'Schnapper Point') was originally collected by Neil Marriott and called 'Schnapper Point' from the same locality as 'Birthday Candles'. This is a more spreading plant to 50 cm tall and up to 1.5–2 m across with dark red-styled gold flowers (a couple of shades darker than 'Birthday Candles') 15 cm high by 6 cm across. It is propagated by Richard Anderson of Merricks Nursery. It appears to be more adaptable to points north than other dwarf forms – growing reliably in southeastern Queensland. This form can be very floriferous, with some plants sporting more than 40 inflorescences at any one time.
  • B. s. 'Coastal Candles', propagated by Merv Hodge, came from Philip Vaughan's 'Schnapper Point' plant. Some plants are behaving differently, so it may be that not all material is exactly the same clone.
  • B. s. var. spinulosa 'Golden Cascade' is yet another plant from the same locality as 'Birthday Candles'; this is more spreading again, to perhaps 30 cm tall and up to 1.5–2 m across with red-styled gold flowers 15 cm high by 6 cm across. It is also seen as B. spinulosa 'prostrate'. Propagated by Gondwana Nursery, this is a relatively new release.
  • B. s. var. spinulosa 'Honey Pots' is a form with all gold flowers to 20 cm high (taller than forms listed above), however it is a little larger with reports of it growing to 1 m high, with odd reports of it getting taller than this, by 1.2 m across. It comes from south coast in Victoria, propagated by Rod Parsons of Carawah Nursery in Victoria.
  • B. s. var. spinulosa (dwarf forms) – Rod Parsons of Carawah Nursery in Victoria has two red-styled fairly compact dwarf forms, one (all serrated – slow growing, possibly collina) growing to 1 m, the (leaf ends serrated only, faster growing) other 1.5 m – and there are others reported but not named.
  • B. s. var cunninghamii 'Lemon Glow' was registered with ACRA in 1982 by Alf Salkin and hails from French Island in Victoria, growing 2–3 m (7–10 ft) with all lemon yellow flowers. Currently propagated by Phillip Vaughan and Kuranga Nursery, both in Melbourne. It is reported to be frost hardy and moderately resistant to drought.
  • There is a form sold as a Banksia (spinulosa) cunninghamii variant, propagated by Bournda Plants of Tura Beach on the NSW south coast. The plants reach 70 cm after four years and have black-styled gold inflorescences. The form came from David Shiels of Wakiti Nursery in Victoria, who got it from Alf Salkin. It has a white underside (not brownish) and has a couple of serrations close to the tip of the leaf, typical of B. s. var. spinulosa.

Read more about this topic:  Banksia Spinulosa, Cultivation

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