Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Banksia serrata

Banksia serrata,Old Man Banksia as a bonsai
This is one of the first plants collected by Joseph Banks in April 1770 at Botany Bay in New South Wales. It occurs naturally along the coast and in the mountains from Queensland to Tasmania. As a garden tree it is long lived and develops a wonderful textured trunk and decorative "fruit"or "cones" from the old flowers which led to the common name of 'old man Banksia'. In the books written for children by Sydney author May Gibbs these cones were given a sinister edge and featured as 'big bad banksia men'. May Gibbs' garden and house is preserved and open to the public in the Sydney suburb of Neutral Bay.
Banksia serrata is very slow growing in the home garden and impatient gardeners may give up waiting for it to reach a reasonable size. It makes a great bonsai however and the attractive bark and gnarled form can be viewed in miniature.

1 comment:

  1. One sees why it is called 'Old man Banksia'. It is perfect for bonsai.