Did You Know?

A Plant Called Superman

Did you know there is a variety of the Banksia plant known as "Superman"?

Banksia Serrata 'Superman'

ORIGIN: Banksia 'Superman' is a variety of B. serrata found growing in the wild near Nambucca Heads, in the state of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia. It was discovered during mapping for the Banksia Atlas in 1986 and mention is made of it in the subsequent publication (1988:225). It occurs in small stands between Nambucca Heads and Grassy Head, NSW. In all cases the plants were growing close to water along the edge of streams or in poorly drained sites. Specimens were sent to the botanic gardens in Sydney and Perth to be deposited in the Herbaria. At the time it was suggested that the variety be accorded sub-species status. This has not occurred. The form comes true to seed.

DESCRIPTION: Small tree growing to 6 metres in height with a spread of 5 metres. Leaves alternate, xeromorphic, oblanceolate, 32 cm long by 4 cm wide with evenly serrated margins, glabrous, dark green and shiny on upper surface, lighter green and penniveined on under-surface with a defined yellowish-green mid-rib. Flower inflorescences terminal spikes 26 cm long by 13 cm wide on short branches off main trunk. Perianth tubular in bud, splitting into segments where the style protrudes. Anthers sessile in the concave tips of the perianth segments. Ovary sessile, style long and wiry, 6 cm long, protruding from the slit in the perianth and curving out in a hook shape. Fruit a follicle, opening in two hard woody obtuse valves set transversely on the rachis. Seeds 2 with a terminal membranous wing, the seeds separated by a plate. Peak flowering is from January to March.

For more information visit the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority website.