Banksia

Banksia species

Family: Proteaceae

Names:

Proteaceae is from the sea god, Proteus, who could take on many forms and alludes to the great range of leaf shapes found in the Proteaceae family.
Banksia celebrates Joseph Banks, an early botanist, who collected many Australian species.

Other Names:

Summary:

Banksias are evergreen trees or shrubs, usually with leathery leaves that have network veins and are furry underneath. Flowers in a cone like cluster with a woody centre, at the ends of branches. 4 stamens and 4 perianth segments that meet and don't overlap in the bud.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

First leaves:

Leaves:

Young shoots are hairy.
Stipules - None.
Petiole -
Blade - Leathery, Network like veins on the lower surface with woolly tissue between the veins.

Stems:

Flower head:

Flowers in pairs, stalkless

Flowers:

Ovary - Small, superior stalkless. Single chamber with 2 ovules attached to the side.
Style - Simple, slender, terminal.
Stigma - Disk, very small, terminal.
Calyx - Limb shorter than claw.
Sepals - 4, forming a short tube near the base, which is enclosed in bracts and has a concavity in the limb
Stamens - 4, fertile, opposite sepals and inserted into them.
Anthers - stalkless, in the concavity of the sepal
4 small, translucent, nectary scales

Fruit:

Dense, woody capsule (cone) at the ends of branches. Bracts underneath. Woody partition separates the seeds. Releases seed when ripe.

Seeds:

2, flattened, with terminal wing.

Roots:

Key Characters:

Leaves usually alternate.
Leaves often toothed or deeply divided.
No stipules.
Numerous flowers in globular to cylindrical, woody cone (or head).
Flowers grouped with each pair usually subtended by a common bract.
Calyx of 4 sepals.
Sepal limb not becoming spiralled
4 stamens, opposite to and inserted into the perianth segments
Anther borne in concavity
Superior ovary
Fruit a 2 celled follicle with a septum separating the 2 seeds.
Fruit releases seed when ripe.
Involucre bracts usually inconspicuous, broadly based and often deciduous.
From Nancy Burbidge, and B.L. Rye.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Origin and History:

All species apart from one that extends into New Guinea are confined to Australia.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Various species widely spread across Australia.

Habitats:

Mainly woodlands and scrublands.

Climate:

Mainly temperate.

Soil:

Depends on the species but often in poorer sandy soils.

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Ornamental, craft wood, roadside and amenity area plantings.

Detrimental:

Little forage value.
Some species introduced from other states are expected to become weeds of native bushland e.g. Banksia caleyi.

Toxicity:

Not regarded as toxic.

Legislation:

The Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits removal of native plants from the wild in their native range on government land.

Management and Control:

Physical removal is usually effective.

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Bulldoze the area, then burn to encourage seeds to germinate. Cultivate or spray to control seedlings.

Herbicide resistance:

None reported.

Biological Control:

Unlikely because most species are native to Australia.

Related plants:

Acorn Banksia (Banksia prionotes)
Bull Banksia (Banksia grandis)
Firewood Banksia (Banksia menziesii)
Honeysuckle, Silver Banksia or Warrock (Banksia marginata)
River Banksia (Banksia seminuda)
Swamp Banksia (Banksia littoralis)
Banksia attenuata
Banksia caleyi - has spread from plantings in WA.
Banksia ilicifolia
Banksia incana
Banksia leptophylla
Banksia marginata
Banksia sphaerocarpa
Banksia telamatiaea
Needlewood
Spider-flower
Macadamia (Macadamia spp.) is one of the few commercial species from this family.
Dryandra spp
Grevillea spp.
Hakea spp.
Isopogon spp.
Protea spp.

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia).

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P148. Diagram.

Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P211. Photo.

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Marchant et al (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P313. Diagrams.

Parsons, W.T. and Cuthbertson, E.G. (1992) Noxious weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.