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Other common names: Old Man Banksia
Characteristics: Shurb or small tree to 15 m
Seeds per packet: 5
Typically an upright narrow spreading tree to 15 m although it can take the form of a low shrub 1-3 metres in some coastal positions. The flowers buds are silvery grey opening to cylindrical cream-grey flowers, from January to June.
As a tree it usually has a stout single trunk with the rough grey bark and develops a gnarled twisted form as it ages.
Serrated leaves dark glossy green above and light green on the underside 8 to 20 cm (3-8”) long, and 2 to 4 cm (1-2”) wide.
Adaptable to a variety soil types providing drainage is adequate. Preforms best in sandy soils and tolerates extreme coastal exposure.
Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn in temperate climates, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C
Pre-treatment of smoke: Not considered critical to germination of this species and germination will generally occur without it.
However many members of the Proteaceae family are responsive to pre-treatment of smoke. Although germination will often occur without smoke treatment it has proved to be beneficial in reducing the number of days to germination and increasing germination rates in many species of the Proteaceae family.
Smoke treatments are simple and can be undertaken either by soaking the seed overnight or by applying to the surface after sowing, both provide good results. Smoke treatments available by clicking here.
General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.