Banksia ashbyiCommon name: Ashby’s 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.
ashbyi – after Edwin Ashby (1861 - 1941) of Blackwood, SA, botanist and cultivator of Australian plants. He collected the type specimen used to describe the species, from east of Geraldton.
DescriptionApart from the difference in height and habit, northern and southern forms have very similar features; the mid-green linear leaves are approximately 3 cm wide and 20 to 30 cm long with deeply serrated margins. The conspicuous terminal, cylindrical inflorescences are yellow/orange, commonly around 15 cm long and 8 to 9 cm across. See below for height details.
Banksia ashbyi has the northernmost distribution of any Western Australian banksia. In the northern part of its range (Shark Bay north to Exmouth), it is a lignotuberous (with lignotuber hence fire-tolerant) shrub to 2 m tall. In its southern range (Shark Bay south to Moora), it is a non-lignotuberous (therefore not fire-tolerant) shrub or small tree to 8 m tall.
February to September/December
The seeds do not require any pre-treatment and should germinate between two weeks and two months after sowing. If sown during hot weather, germinate them in a cool place (below 20 degrees Celsius).
Most banksias, are easy to grow in climates similar to their distribution areas, hence ashbyi does best in a dry summer climate, and requires well-drained, preferably sandy soils and full sun to light shade. It will not do well in areas experiencing humid or wet summers. It 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.
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 This Plant in Kings ParkOn the eastern side of the Banksia Garden and in Roe Gardens just south-east of Roe Car Park. To help locate these sites, you may download the Western Australian Botanic Garden brochure via our brochures page.
This is an excellent plant for attracting nectar-feeding birds into your garden, and a great banksia for cut flowers.
Read more about banksias and the Banksia Garden here.