Coastal Banksia Nicholas Turland/Flickr

Coastal Banksia

Banksia integrifolia

Did You Know?

  • Banksia integrifolia subsp. compar and Banksia integrifolia subsp. monticola are subspecies in NSW and Queensland
FactBox Image

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 and 1 – 3.5 cm wide
  • Coloured differently on the two surfaces: upper surface dark green, dull to shiny; lower surface white and covered with dense intertwined hairs
  • 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

Flowers mainly January - June. 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.

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.

Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower

  • Full flowering (record all days)

  • 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 Banksias and the animals that depend on them

Climate Adaptations

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.

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • Flowering from summer through winter
  • Seed cones appear after flowers

Where To Look

  • Occurs between Victoria and Central Queensland
  • In a range of habitats from coastal dunes to mountains
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

Similar Species

Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata) has a distinct notch at the end of the leaf tips, smaller leaves and flowers, and leaves alternate on the stem instead of whorl around it.

Mountain Banksia (Banksia canei) are found above 600 m in 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.