Portal:Western Australia/Selected article/23
Banksia prionotes, commonly known as Acorn Banksia or Orange Banksia, is a species of woody shrub or tree of the genus Banksia in the Proteaceae family. It is native to the southwest of Western Australia and can reach up to 10 m (30 ft) in height. It can be much smaller in more exposed areas or in the north of its range. The banksia has serrated, dull green leaves and large, bright flower spikes, initially white then opening to a bright orange. Its common name arises from the partly opened inflorescences, which resemble acorns. The tree is a popular garden plant and also of importance to the cut flower industry.
Banksia prionotes was first described in 1840 by English botanist John Lindley, probably from material collected by James Drummond the previous year. There are no recognised varieties, although it has been known to hybridise with Banksia hookeriana. Widely distributed, B. prionotes is found from Shark Bay (25° S) in the north, south as far as Kojonup (33°50′S). It grows exclusively in sandy soils, and is usually the dominant plant in scrubland or low woodland. The Acorn Banksia is pollinated by and provides food for a wide array of vertebrate and invertebrate animals in the autumn and winter months. It is an important source of food for honeyeaters (Meliphagidae), and is critical to their survival in the Avon Wheatbelt region, where it is the only nectar-producing plant in flower at some times of the year.