Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Banksia "Red Rover". Someone Stuffed Up.

Banksia "Red Rover", a red-flowered variety of  the well-known Banksia ericifolia, is a relatively recent introduction, having been accepted for registration on  5th November, 2010.  Registration apparently followed  extensive testing since the plants introduction in 2004. But there seems to be confusion about this plant.

The label on this one, bought this week from our local Bunnings, states it will grow to 10 metres tall and the same wide.  That is very large for a Banksia and probably too large for most gardens. But the description posted by Australian Cultivar Registration Authority which I assume was submitted by the original growers, Rod & Robyn Parsons, as part of their application for naming rights, describes Red Rover as a "dwarf cultivar growing to 2 metres".  So someone is wrong. 

This type of confusion is disappointing and will not encourage people to use new Australian plants such as this.  We do have wonderful native plants in Australia and we should explore their use in garden design, but our horticultural industry seems to be a bit slack and lacking in professionalism. The hit or miss approach is not good.  Smarten up please.

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