We're feeling inspired this summer with a fresh take on a favorite orange Banksia: Ashbyii or also called Ashby’s Banksia. What appears to be one large, showy cylindrical flower is actually a dense cluster of up to several thousand individual blossoms. Ashbyii’s beautiful orange flowers add vibrancy and texture in the field or garden and is a treat in floral arrangements, bouquets and wreaths.
Speaking of treats, banksia nectar once provided a sweet treat for Aboriginal people, who sucked the flower spike or soaked it in water to make a drink.
After flowering, the spike develops into a woody cone with tightly closed follicles, each containing one or two seeds. The cone or pod performs the all-important task of protecting the seeds until the time is right for germination – which, for most banksias, is after a BBQ or bushfire.
- Keep cool when possible.
- Strip leaves from the bottom half of each stem.
- Re-cut at least 1/2" off each stem and place in cold water.
- Never bash or split stems.
- Replace vase water every day as Banksia are thirsty flowers.
- Never mist banksias as this could cause black marks to appear.