|Coastal heath with Saw Banksia.|
Saw Banksia Banksia serrata is a low growing tree, often contorted and rugged looking. It grows at the coast in the east of Australia, where it can be exposed to some violent weather charging in from the Pacific Ocean. Its thick knobbly bark is fire resistant and underground it has a deep specialised root called a lignotuber, which allows it to access water and regenerate after fires. The cream flowers are large and attractive, the leaves are serrated.
Saw Banksia prefers deep fairly fertile sandy soil and will resist frost, salt and drought as well as fire. It is a long lived tree and often cultivated in Australian gardens as well as occuring naturally on the coastal heath, where these ones were photographed.
It is one of the plants collected by Joseph Banks when the Endeavour landed in Botany Bay in 1770 under Captain Cook. Carl Linnaeus the Younger later took care of the species description and named the genus after Banks.
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