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Banksia in Western Australia


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#1 Martin Hingst

 
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Posted 20 December 2011 - 14:12 PM

Hi,
for those of you who didn't come along this genus before, I'd like to introduce these fascinating plants to you. For sure among the most fascinating plants I have found in WA.
They belong to the Proteaceae family and are restricted to Australia, with a lot of lovely species in WA. They are extremely variable in habit - some species form real trees, most are shrubs, and with some there are only a few leaves coming directly out of the sand, and next to it emerges a huge flower bulb:
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The flower bulbs consists of many hundreds or even thousands of single flowers, of which only a few get pollinated:

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And those few pollinated flowers form big seeds, that give the outbloomed bulbs their typical appearance:

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BTW, here one of its pollinators:

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As variable as in growth habit, are the flower bulbs in shape and colour. Some form nearly round balls, some are elongated. In white, yellow, green, orange...

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...and red! So here comes the queen of Banksia - Banksia coccinea:

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And finally an overview - Banksia at sundown, among another spectacular member of the Proteaceae - Hakea victoria, at East Mount Barren.

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Hope you like it -

Martin

#2 jimscott

 
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Posted 20 December 2011 - 14:30 PM

These are cool looking plants!

#3 TheInactiveMoth

 
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Posted 20 December 2011 - 19:31 PM

Absolutely amazing! That last photo is postcard-esque.... :D

#4 nadja77

 
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Posted 20 December 2011 - 20:08 PM

Beautiful plants and pics! The first photo reminds me of a 'bottle brush shrub' I think its called Callistemonor, which is fairly common here. They really are very different from one another!

#5 Daniel O.

 
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Posted 20 December 2011 - 20:12 PM

Hi Martin,

wow, never seen such plants before, really interesting plants.
Thanks for sharing.

Best regards,

Dani

#6 mobile

 
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Posted 20 December 2011 - 21:58 PM

...and red! So here comes the queen of Banksia - Banksia coccinea:


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That's one of the strangest flowers I have ever seen... it's also very beautiful. Thanks for sharing the photos Martin.

#7 Martin Hingst

 
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Posted 22 December 2011 - 21:07 PM

Thanks :)

Nadja - I always thought Callistemon is only to be found in Australia. Maybe introduced to Southern Africa as garden plants? Not surprising though that is comes along pretty good with your climate, as it is quite similar to Western Australia.

Despite their similarities, they are not related - Callistemon belongs to the Myrtaceae family.

Regards

Martin

Edited by Martin Hingst, 22 December 2011 - 21:09 PM.


#8 nadja77

 
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Posted 23 December 2011 - 14:06 PM

You're right, it is mainly found in cultivation here, although I have seen the odd one in the wild. I think it is more of an invasive species in SA, but I am not sure. We do have a lot of problems with alien species, especially with Eucalyptus and even more so with Chromolaena (not Australian) which, if not kept in check, tends to out compete anything else in the bushveld causing havoc with the ecosystem. It goes to show how important it is not to introduce anything, anywhere, where it does not belong...
woops am I ranting? :red33:

That does naturally not change the fact that those plants are absolutely beautiful! :D

Edited by nadja77, 23 December 2011 - 14:07 PM.