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Coastal Banksia

Banksia integrifolia

Appearance

Tree to 25 m high; bark grey-brown, thick, roughly tessellated (mosaic-like); its smaller branches are striated (striped with parallel longitudinal ridges or lines)

Leaves

  • often whorled (arranged as a ring of leaves), lance-shaped and sometimes broadest in the upper third, 4–10 cm long, 1–3.5 cm wide. 
  • Leaves are coloured differently on the two surfaces: upper surface dark green, dull to shiny, lower surface white and covered with dense intertwined hairs. 
  • Leaves pointed or having a broad shallow notch at the tip
  • Adult leaves have entire margins while juveniles will have a few short teeth, flat or slightly curved backwards

Flowers: pale yellow cylindrical spikes forming a bottle-brush shape. Each flower head is 6 – 12 cm long, 5 – 8 cm wide and attracts insects and nectar-eating birds. Flowers mainly Jan.–Jun.

Fruits/Seeds: Seed "cones" opening spontaneously on ripening 8–10 months after flowering. Seeds are enclosed in follicles, body of seed crescent-shaped, 6–10 mm long, wing 10–20 mm long. Fire stimulates the opening of Banksia seed-bearing follicles and the germination of seeds in the ground.

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower
  • Full flowering (when 50% of flowers are open)
  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)
  • Open seed pods / follicles (record all days)
  • Signs of disease and decay (through photos and ‘additional comments’)

The introduction and spread of plant pathogens such as Phytophthora cinnamomi (dieback) pose a serious threat to the Banksias and the animals that depend on them.

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect plants to start flowering earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. They may also start appearing in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them. 

Increase in bushfires associated with climate change could reduce or even eliminate populations of Banksia from certain areas by killing seedlings and young plants before they reach fruiting age (Wooler et al, 2002).

Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?"

 

When To Look

From summer through winter for flowering. 

Seed cones appear after flowers. 

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of these events so remember to keep a lookout all year!

 

Where To Look

Occurs between Victoria and Central Queensland in a range of habitats including from coastal dunes to mountains. 

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes outside of their known ranges so remember to keep a lookout beyond these regions too!

 

Sightings

References

Wooller, S. J.; Wooller, R. D.; Brown, K. L. (2002). "Regeneration by three species of Banksia on the south coast of Western Australia in relation to fire interval". Australian Journal of Botany. 50 (3): 311–317. doi:10.1071/BT01078

Banksia integrifolia, Flora of Victoria. https://vicflora.rbg.vic.gov.au

PlantNET, NSW Flora Online. http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au

ClimateWatch Science Advisory Panel

Links

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  1. What Else?

    Coastal Baksia can be differentiated from the Silver Banksia by lacking a distinct notch at the end of the leaf tips. Coastal Banksia also have larger leaves and flowers and leaves are whorled around the stem (several coming out from the same point on the stem) instead of alternate like on the Silver Banksia.

    Mountain Banksia (Banksia canei) are found above 600m in the semi-alpine areas of NSW and Victoria, it has some sharp points on its leaves, stouter flowers and larger follicles that remain closed for several years.

  1. Did You Know?

    In NSW and QLD, there are 2 subspecies: Banksia integrifolia subsp. compar and Banksia integrifolia subsp. monticola.

    The introduction and spread of plant pathogens such as Phytophthora cinnamomi (dieback) pose a serious threat to the Banksias and the animals that depend on them.