banksia1

Fast Food

Banksias are a uniquely Australian group of plants related to the Proteas of South Africa.

Fire!

The tough cones of Banksias protect their seeds from bushfire.  Firewood Banksias drop their seeds every year but the woody follicles of Slender Banksias only open after a fire.  The seeds drop out and germinate in the ashes.

Although Banksias germinate after fire, if fire is too frequent, the seedlings are unable to grow large enough to flower and set seed.

Nyungar people use Piara (Slender Banksia) cones as torches and to carry fire from one campsite to another.

 

Firewood Banksia (Banksia menziesii) leaf, seed and cone with open follicles
Firewood Banksia (Banksia menziesii) leaf,
seed and cone with open follicles 
Firewood Banksia flower spike
Firewood Banksia flower spike    
Firewood Banksia cone
Firewood Banksia cone 
Slender Banksia (Banksia attenuata) cone and leaves

Slender Banksia (Banksia attenuata)
cone and leaves

Slender Banksia flower spikes

Slender Banksia flower spikes