October 10 2013 0comment

An evergreen tree that Tuis love!

I would like to introduce you to the Coast Banksia (Banksia integrifolia).

tui 1

 

A small, upright Coast banksia.  The flowers look like candles surrounded by dark green foliage.  A very pretty small tree, but be aware they will eventually grow into a large tree.  A qualified arborist (tree surgeon) will be able to keep the size contained with regular pruning.

Copyright 2012 Helen Nelson
Copyright 2012 Helen Nelson

A tui feeding from the banksia flower.  The rich colours of the tui stand out beautifully against the silvery underside of the foliage, especially when viewing from below.

tui 3
A tui feeding from the banksia flower.

The rich colours of the tui stand out beautifully against the silvery underside of the foliage, especially when veiwing from below.

tui 4

 

The flower spike before it opens.  The foliage is stiff and leathery, green above and covered in a silver fur below.

tui 6

 

The banksia flowers are soft and silky when they are young, and they harden with age.

tui 7

 

A typical view of the tree in flowering season showing young flowers, foliage, and the contrasting silver underside of one of the leaves.

tui 8

 

This strange looking this is an old banksia fruit.  This is what the flower spikes become when they are fertilised.  The seeds are held in hard cases attached to the outside, which in this photo have all opened to release the seeds.

If you have any questions about the banksia tree, please ask. If you want to know about other trees to attract tuis, just wait until next week!