Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Banksia spinulosa

The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney - April

Common name hairpin banksia
Scientific name Banksia spinulosa
Family  Proteaceae

Genus: Banksia - after Sir Joseph Banks, 18th century botanist

Species: spinulosa - bearing small spines

Distribution From the Victorian border, through eastern NSW north to the Atherton Tableland in Queensland.
Native habitat Moist, dry sclerophyll open forest, frequently in hilly localities.
Description 1.4 m high x 1.5 m wide. Medium to tall spreading shrub. Leaves 2-10 cm x 0.2-0.7 cm, narrow linear, green above, pale beneath,entire or more commonly with shortly toothed revolute margins. Flower heads 5-20 cm x 4-8 cm, bright golden, often with purplishblack styles; cones narrow, covered with persistent remains of flowers. Seeds are retained in the mature cones.
Flowering/fruiting Flowering February to July.

Location in Garden

Growing in beds 21a, 21b, 20c,22c, 22d, 128a and many other sites in the Royal Botanic Garden.
Click here for map of garden beds & grid.


Banksia spinulosa was first collected by John White (surgeon of the First Fleet) in 1792. It would have been native to the site of the first white settlement in Sydney Harbour. B. spinulosa is pollinated by many species of birds and mammals. It has a lignotuber which means it can re-sprout from ground level after the above-ground parts are destroyed by a bushfire.

It is a very ornamental species and several varieties and natural hybrids are recognised. Grows successfully in sandstone soils as well as rocky clays and loams. Plants are resistant to phytophthora and prefer moist, well drained soils.

Grows successfully from seeds or cuttings.

Not known to be weedy.

Widely available in nurseries.


Banksia spinulosa