This month’s featured plant can be found in flowers from March to September.
The Hairpin Banksia (Banksia spinulosa) is a common banksia, not only in bushland areas but also in many suburban gardens.
It can be found growing in coastal bushland areas along much of the South-Eastern coast of Australia. It prefers a sunny but protected open location, with its flowers being used extensively in cut flower floral arrangements.
It is possible to propagate from seed taken from mature seed capsules at the end of the flowering period. However seed can remain viable for several years in older cones.
This banksia, along with other banksias and other flowering native plants, is featured at the Community Environment Centre at Annangrove in their demonstration “Waterwise Garden”. On display is a year round variety of native plants and shrubs with differing water requirements.
Volunteers at The Centre have developed a “Seasonal Wildflower Walk” through the bushland behind the Centre. When walking this track the Hairpin Banksia is widespread throughout the bushland adjacent to the track at this time of the year.
This particular banksia is noticeable for its variation in colours. Depending upon its location and available nutrients, colours may range from a pale creamy yellow to a rich orange. As the flower spikes mature they tend to take on a darker colour towards the end of the flowering period.
There are several recognised botanical varieties of the Hairpin Banksia which also may produce a difference in the colour of the flower spike.
Further information about the Community Environment Centre is available on The Hills Shire website at www.thehills.nsw.gov.au under the Environment link or by phoning 9843 3571 on Thursdays or The Hills Shire Council on 9843 0555 at other times.