Plant of the Month – Banksia ashbyi

Last week I featured the Boronia telopea. During the month of December I’ll be featuring different varieties of Banksia, starting off with Banksia ashbyi.

Genus: Banksia
Species: ashbyi
Common Name: Ashby’s Banksia
Flower Colour: Orange
Foliage Colour: Green
Growth Habit: Shrub to 2m (Northern WA Variety), Small Tree to 8m (Southern WA Variety)
Flowering: Later winter to Spring

The Banksia is one of Australia’s most famous, and often said most beautiful native plants. The Banksia ashbyi is the variety that I am most aquainted with, being from WA, and through bias would say it is by far the best variety of Banksia.

The ashbyi has two different varieties, depending on where it is growing. It appears that the only real difference between the two is where it is growing. Up in North Western Australia, it tends to grow smaller and more like a shrub. However, further south (below Shark Bay) it generally grows quite tall, up to 8m or so, and more like a small tree, with less branches.

The biggest asset for the Banksia is its beautiful, large, orange flower. The sheer size of the flower means that Banksia ashbyi is often planted as a feature or ornamental plant. It is also grown for use in the cut flower trade, often being used as the centre piece in a flower arrangement.

While I don’t currently have a Banksia ashbyi growing in my garden, I would like to think that one day I will! How about you?