There are several varieties and subspecies of Banksia Ericifolia that are available in nurseries today. Some are more garden-worthy than others. In my last garden, I grew two different varieties. The first was a variety called “Little Eric”. This was a great little Banksia that only grows to about 1.5 m in height with a spreading habit.
The other type of Banksia Ericifolia I grew was the more common sub spice Ericifolia which was quite a nice looking plant but the flowers were well hidden inside the foliage and as a consequence, they were hard to see.
I do believe that there is a variety though where the flowers are longer, more terminal, and protrude above the top of the foliage more so they are more visible.
So a word of warning, choose wisely at the nursery if you want a plant that will put on a show when in flower. The best thing about this Banksia is that I grew it in a shady area under a large tree that was growing in the house next door.
The roots from this tree ensured that the ground was always bone dry and despite this, it always puts on a flowering display every winter and never shows any signs of stress. So if you’re after a plant to put in a dry shady area this might be a very good choice.
Read More: Growing Banksia Oblongifolia
There are also a few hybrids as well that are worth a mention. Banksia “Giant Candles” is the most well-known. A hybrid with B Spinulosa this Banksia gets its name from the long flowers it produces, up to 40 cm long. The shrub itself grows up to 5 or 6m and could nearly be classified as a small tree. I grew this in my last garden. It tends to grow reasonably fast and is covered in long orange flowers over winter.
Another Hybrid is called Banksia “Yellow Wing” a hybrid between Giant Candles and B Spinulosa (Canarvon) “Bird wise”. I’m currently growing this one in my garden at the moment but the growth has been slow.
I’m not sure if this is due to the phosphorus in my soil or just the dry conditions. I might try giving it some more water and we’ll see if it grows any faster. The other thing is that apart from the slow growth it hasn’t shown any signs of phosphorus toxicity whatsoever so it appears to be resistant to the effects of the phosphorus.
Banksia Ericifolia “Little Eric” and Banksia “Giant Candles”
Are the ones that I’ve had the most success with and would recommend them as starters but I’d be very interested to get some feedback on what other people have tried.
Banksia Ericifolia grows naturally on the east coast of Australia and typically has long orange, burgundy, or yellow candle-like flowers that occur over winter and into spring.
It normally grows to 3m but this is variable in the different varieties. Despite coming from an area that gets up to 1000mm of rain per year it is still very drought tolerant, adaptable, and easy to grow in the home garden.