The most valuable plants in any garden are groundcovers as they protect the soil from moisture loss and prevent weeds. One native groundcover plant which is relatively new in cultivation is the prostrate form of the Coastal Banksia, Banksia integrifolia. Another native groundcover is the prostrate form of Old Man Banksia, Banksia serrata which grows to about 1m (3′) tall and is not as gnarled as the upright form of Old Man Banksia.
They are both extremely hardy banksias which will grow almost anywhere in Australia. They are frost hardy and resistant to salt spray. The prostrate banksias will spread to 2m (6′). The Coastal Banksia has attractive buds and yellow/green, candle-like flowers that stand up above the foliage for long periods throughout the year.
Cost and availability of Banksia
The prostrate forms of banksias are available from native nurseries throughout Australia and cost around $6-$9 for a 15cm (6″) pot. Ask your local nursery to order them for you and try your nearest native plant specialist such as:
Fairhill Native Plants, Yandina, QLD, 4561, phone: (07) 5446 7088.
Wirreanda Nursery, Ingleside, NSW, 2101, phone: (02) 9450 1400.
Sydney Wildflower Nursery West, Marsden Park, NSW, 2765, phone: (02) 9628 4448.
Kuranga Native Nursery, Ringwood, VIC, 3134, phone: (03) 9879 4076.