T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Banksia integrifolia (Coast banksia)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Genus: Banksia
Species: B. integrifolia
Binomial name: Banksia integrifolia
Common name: Coast banksia, Honeysuckle, White banksia, White bottlebrush, White honeysuckle, Honeysuckle oak

Banksia integrifolia is an erect, fast-growing, evergreen species of tree that grows along the east coast of Australia. There are several subspecies. Banksia integrifolia is a highly variable species. It is natural habitat it is most often encountered as a tree up to 25 metres in height, but in sheltered locations it can reach 35 metres. In more exposed areas it may grow as a small, gnarled tree, reaching to no more than about 5 metres and in highly exposed positions, such as on exposed coastal headlands; it may even be reduced to a small shrub.

Its long and narrow leaves (up to 15 cm long and 2.5 cm wide) occur in whorls of three to five. They have a dark green upper surface and while the underside are silvery & felted. The margins of the leaves of seedlings and saplings are coarsely toothed. Adult leaves have entire margins.

From March to August Banksia integrifolia has pale yellow to yellow inflorescences which are cylindrical (9-12 cm long), erect and with several hundred flowers (10-15 mm long) densely packed in a spiral around a woody axis. They are abundant with nectar.
The fruiting cone is woody, persistent, and with several hard and woody valves each with a black seed. The fruiting cone needs warm dry weather to open. The tree spreads locally by seed fall.

In New Zealand adventive populations have become naturalised in several regions. Banksia integrifolia has now been placed on the weed watch list as a new woody weed in the making. It was initially introduced as a ornamental plant and but it was also planted to stabilise sand dunes. It prefers sunny, poor, dry areas (e.g. dunes, gumland scrub and shrubland). Because it is fast growing and its high seed output it is a threat to well-drained sites especially sand dunes where it will form dense thickets.

  

  

Photo showing the whitish underside of the leaves.


Banksia integrifolia's seed cone.