There are several different varieties and selected forms of the hairpin banksia, which can show indistinct differences, making their identification difficult. B. spinulosa var. spinulosa differs from B. spinulosa var. collina only in its rolled-under leaf margins. It was introduced and has been grown successfully in Britain since 1788.
The hairpin banksia is useful in the garden for planting beneath established eucalypts, and will grow well in the shade. Its dense habit makes it suitable as a screen plant.