This is a large shrub or small tree, potentially growing to 25′, but often smaller in cultivation. The leaves are thick, leathery, silver-grey (tomentose) underneath and a rich dark green on top and can be 1 foot long. They are divided into many lobes creating an opposing saw-tooth pattern each side of the midrib. New foliage clothed with brown hairs. The flowers are cream to pale yellow up to 1′ long, and the cones persist on the plant.
Pronunciation: BANGK-see-a spee-see-OH-suh
Species Meaning: from the Latin word 'speciosus' meaning showy
Banksia speciosa is native to Western Australia.
Plant in full sun and irrigate only occasionally to very little. Hardy to 20-25 degrees F. This plant can be susceptible to root rot so it is always best planted in well-drained soils and water withheld in summer months. Tolerates near coastal conditions but needs some protection from direct salt spray and wind exposure.
All 3 sprouting and growing well.
Lost one. May have become too dry. The other two are now in the greenhouse doing well.
Aug 2020 update. Two plants continue to do well. One now planted in Gondwana and doing very well. The other one is struggling because I think it needed more regular water. It may revive now that the fall rains have started.
In Our Garden
Plant ID: P20142 | Seed ID: S1801
On the top tier of Gondwana in the center.