Common name: Firewood Banksia or Menzies' Banksia
Family: PROTEACEAE (80 Genera)
Origin of Scientific Name
Banksia - After Sir Joseph Banks (1743 - 1820), famous English botanist and naturalist with a prolific list of botanical discoveries credited to him.
menziesii - In honour of Archibald Menzies (1754 - 1842), surgeon-naturalist on board the HMS Discovery, on the Vancouver Expedition that discovered and named King George Sound, near Albany, in 1791. Specimens of menziesii were not collected on this trip, but in 1827 by Charles Fraser during Captain James Stirling's exploration of the Swan River. Archibald Menzies never got to see the plant that was named in honour of him.
Plants vary greatly in size from shrub 1.3 to 3 m to trees growing commonly to 7 m, and up to 10 m tall in Banksia woodland.
Greyish, mid-green serrated leaves, with inflorescences up to 8 cm across and 12 cm high in yellow, bronze, pink, deep red and all variations of the above.
Found solely in Western Australia, from Kalbarri in the north, to Bunbury in the south. Though mainly confined to the coastal plains by the unsuitable, heavy soils of the Darling Scarp, there are a few isolated populations approximately 200 km east of Perth.
Flowering SeasonFebruary to October.
Easy to grow in climates similar to its distribution sites (Mediterranean). Requires free-draining, preferably sandy soil and full sun. Prefers organic mulch, is very sensitive to phosphates, but responds well to light application of slow-release, low-phosphate fertilisers specifically designed for Australian native plants.
Easily propagated by seed, which respond well to smoke treatment and germinate in four to six weeks after sowing.
Banksias respond well to light pruning after flowering, but pruning too hard can kill them.
Pests and Diseases
Sensitive to dieback (a soil-borne water mould, Phytophthora cinnamomi).
View in Kings Park
You can view this plant in the Banksia Garden or, being one of the most dominant banksias in Kings Park bushland, try looking for it there. To help locate these sites, you may download the Western Australian Botanic Garden Guide brochure via our brochures page.
Banksia menziesii is also incorporated into the magnificent marble mosaic pavements alongside the Banksia Gardens and is central in the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority logo.