Banksia ornata

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Desert banksia
Banksia ornata3 Mt annan entrance apr 04 email.jpg
Banksia ornata
cult. Mount Annan Botanic Garden.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Genus: Banksia
Subgenus: Banksia subg. Banksia
Section: Banksia sect. Banksia
Series: Banksia ser. Banksia
Species: B. ornata
Binomial name
Banksia ornata
F.Muell ex. Meisn.

The desert banksia (Banksia ornata) is a species of shrub in the plant genus Banksia which grows up to 3 m tall. It occurs in western Victoria, and in South Australia, where it is common on the Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and east of Adelaide, but is apparently absent from Yorke Peninsula.

The Ngarrindjeri people of the Lower Murray region in South Australia knew it as yelakut.[1]


It tends to grow in mallee and heathland environments in sandy well drained soils.

Its flowers exist as cylindrical spikes which are initially yellow/green to yellow, and turn bronze in when aged. The desert banksia flowers in late winter to spring. The green leaves are elongated wedge shaped with serrated edges about 20 mm wide and 100 mm long.

Nectarivorous birds are attracted to this shrub; species observed feeding at its flowers include Anthochaera carunculata (red wattlebird), Melithreptus brevirostris (brown-header honeyeater), Melithreptus lunatus (white-naped honeyeater) and Zosterops lateralis (silvereye).[2]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Clarke, P.A. (2003). "Twentieth Century Aboriginal Harvesting Practices in the Rural Landscape of the Lower Murray, South Australia" (PDF). Records of the South Australian Museum. 36 (1): 83–107. 
  2. ^ Barker, R. D.; Vestjens, W. J. M. (1984). The Food of Australian Birds. Melbourne University Press. pp. 2:183, 223, 225, 271, 458. ISBN 0-643-05006-X. 

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