World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Banksia telmatiaea

Article Id: WHEBN0005689889
Reproduction Date:

Title: Banksia telmatiaea  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Banksia ser. Abietinae, Banksia grossa, Banksia scabrella, Banksia sphaerocarpa, Banksia subg. Banksia
Collection: Banksia Taxa by Scientific Name, Eudicots of Western Australia, Plants Described in 1981
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Banksia telmatiaea

Swamp Fox Banksia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Family: Proteaceae
Genus: Banksia
Species: B. telmatiaea
Binomial name
Banksia telmatiaea

Banksia telmatiaea, commonly known as swamp fox banksia or rarely marsh banksia, is a shrub that grows in marshes and swamps along the lower west coast of Australia. It grows as an upright bush up to 2 m (7 ft) tall, with narrow leaves and a pale brown flower spike, which can produce profuse quantities of nectar. First collected in the 1840s, it was not published as a separate species until 1981; as with several other similar species it was previously included in B. sphaerocarpa (Fox Banksia).

The shrub grows amongst scrubland in seasonally wet lowland areas of the coastal sandplain between Badgingarra and Serpentine in Western Australia. A little studied species, not much is known of its ecology or conservation biology. Reports do suggest, however, that it is pollinated by a variety of birds and small mammals. Like many members of series Abietinae, it has not been considered to have much horticultural potential and is rarely cultivated.


  • Description 1
  • Taxonomy 2
    • Discovery and naming 2.1
    • Infrageneric placement 2.2
  • Distribution and habitat 3
  • Ecology 4
  • Conservation 5
  • Cultivation 6
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


B. telmatiaea grows as an upright bush up to 2 m (7 ft) high. It has hairy stems and branchlets, and straight, narrow leaves from 1½ to 3 cm (½–1 in) long and about a millimetre (116 in) wide.[1] The leaves have a green upper surface and white hairy undersurface. The new growth is pale brown, later turning green.[2]

Closeup of foliage

Flowers occur in "flower spikes", [2] It contains between 500 and 900 golden brown to pale brown flowers,[3] each of which consists of a tubular perianth made up of four fused tepals, and one long wiry style. The styles are hooked rather than straight, and are initially trapped inside the upper perianth parts, but break free at anthesis. The species generally flowers from April to August, although flowers have been observed as late as November.[4] They take five to six weeks to develop from bud, then reach anthesis over a period of two weeks. The flowers produce unusually large quantities of nectar; indeed some flowers produce so much that it drips to the ground.[3]

The fruiting structure is a stout woody "cone", with a hairy appearance caused by the persistence of old withered flower parts.[1] Up to 70 woody follicles, each of which contains a single seed, may be embedded in the cone. As with other Banksia species, only a small proportion of flowers go on to form follicles; in the case of B. telmatiaea, the proportion is around 4% for those "cones" that set some fruit. However, about 80% of fruiting structures set no fruit at all. According to John K. Scott, "there [is] no obvious reason on the basis of morphology of pollination for this lack of seed set".[3]


Inflorescence in late bud
Fruiting structure with persistent flowers and closed follicles

Discovery and naming

B. telmatiaea was first collected around 1840 by

  • A.S.George"Banksia telmatiaea".  
  • A.S.George"Banksia telmatiaea".  
  • A.S.George"Banksia telmatiaea".  

External links

  1. ^ a b c d  
  2. ^ a b c d e George, Alex S. (1981). " 
  3. ^ a b c d Scott, John K. (1982). "The impact of destructive insects on reproduction in six species of Banksia L.f. (Proteaceae)".  
  4. ^ a b c d Taylor, Anne;  
  5. ^ a b  
  6. ^  
  7. ^ A.S.George"Banksia telmatiaea".  
  8. ^ Bennett, Eleanor M. (1991). Common and Aboriginal names of Western Australian plant species. Boya:  
  9. ^ a b  
  10. ^  
  11. ^ Mast, Austin R.;  
  12. ^ Mast, Austin R.; Jones, Eric H.; Havery, Shawn P. (2005). "An assessment of old and new DNA sequence evidence for the paraphyly of Banksia with respect to Dryandra (Proteaceae)". Australian Systematic Botany (CSIRO Publishing / Australian Systematic Botany Society) 18 (1): 75–88.  
  13. ^ Mast, Austin R.; Thiele, Kevin (2007). "The transfer of Dryandra R.Br. to Banksia L.f. (Proteaceae)". Australian Systematic Botany 20 (1): 63–71.  
  14. ^ Speck, N. H.; Baird, A. M. (1984). "Vegetation of Yule Brook Reserve near Perth, Western Australia".  
  15. ^ a b Lewis, Jeffrey; Bell, David T. (1981). "Reproductive isolation of co-occurring Banksia species at the Yule Brook Botany Reserve, Western Australia".  
  16. ^ Lamont, Byron B. (1993). "Why are hairy root clusters so abundant in the most nutrient-impoverished soils of Australia?".  
  17. ^ a b c George, Alex S. (1987). The Banksia Book (Second Edition). Kenthurst, New South Wales: Kangaroo Press (in association with the Society for Growing Australian Plants).  
  18. ^ Lamont, Byron B.; Markey, Adrienne (1995). "Biogeography of fire-killed and resprouting Banksia species in south-western Australia". Australian Journal of Botany 43 (3): 283–303.  
  19. ^ George, Alex S. (1984). An introduction to the Proteaceae of Western Australia. Kenthurst: Kangaroo Press. p. 21.  
  20. ^ a b c d e Hansen, Dennis M.; Olesen, Jens M.; Mione, Thomas; Johnson, Steven D.; Müller, Christine B. (2007). "Coloured nectar: distribution, ecology, and evolution of an enigmatic floral trait".  
  21. ^ Carthew, S. M.; Goldingay, R. L. (1997). "Non-flying mammals as pollinators".  
  22. ^ a b Markey, Adrienne S.; Lamont, Byron B. (1996). Why do some banksias have green nectar?. International Symposium on the Biology of Proteaceae (Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne).  (only abstract sighted)
  23. ^ Barrett, Gregory J.; Lamont, Byron B. (1985). "Absence of nitrogen fixation (acetylene reduction) by procaryotes in nectar of banksias".  
  24. ^ Nicolson, Susan W.; Van Wyk, Ben-Erik (1998). "Nectar sugars in Proteaceae: patterns and processes". Australian Journal of Botany 46 (4): 489–504.  
  25. ^ "Phytophthora cinnamomi"Part 2, Appendix 4: The responses of native Australian plant species to (PDF). Management of Phytophthora cinnamomi for Biodiversity Conservation in Australia.  
  26. ^ "Phytophthora cinnamomi"Common Indicator Species for the Presence of Disease caused by .  
  27. ^ Fitzpatrick, Matthew C.; Gove, Aaron D.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Dunn, Robert R. (2008). "Climate change, plant migration, and range collapse in a global biodiversity hotspot: the Banksia (Proteaceae) of Western Australia". Global Change Biology 14 (6): 1–16.  
  28. ^ A.S.George"Banksia telmatiaea".  
  29. ^ Sweedman, Luke; Merritt, David (2006). Australian seeds: a guide to their collection, identification and biology. CSIRO Publishing. p. 203.  


  1. ^ The other four species are Banksia grossa, B. incana, B. leptophylla and B. sphaerocarpa.[20]


B. telmatiaea is rarely cultivated. It grows fairly quickly, but tends to become untidy as it ages. The flower spikes, though attractive, occur within the bush where they are usually obscured by foliage. In its natural habitat it flowers prolifically over several months, but according to George it may be reluctant to flower in cultivation. It tolerates light pruning not below the green foliage. George recommends a sunny position in poorly drained soil, preferably with moisture in winter.[17] Seeds do not require any treatment, and take around 14 days to germinate.[29]

B. telmatiaea flowers prolifically, but hides its flower spikes within the bush, and tends to become untidy with age.


In 1987, George applied the Rare or Threatened Australian Plants ([17] Western Australia's Department of Parks and Wildlife do not consider it to be rare, however, and have not included it on their Declared Rare and Priority Flora List.[28]

B. telmatiaea is a fairly secure species, as most populations are of more than 100 plants, and 26% of known plants are in conservation reserves. Its proximity to Perth suggests that land clearing for urban development could pose a threat, and in 1988 The Banksia Atlas recommended that "the species should continue to be monitored since land clearing could change the situation greatly, particularly amongst its northern populations." It is also known to be susceptible to dieback caused by the introduced plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi, a soil-borne water mould that causes root rot;[25] in fact it is so reliably susceptible that it used as an indicator species for the presence of the disease.[26] An assessment of the potential impact of climate change on this species found that severe change is likely to lead to extinction; but under less severe change scenarios the distribution may actually grow, depending on how effectively it can migrate into newly habitable areas.[27]

B. telmatiaea among scrub in the Yule Brook Botany Reserve


B. telmatiaea is one of five Banksia species, all closely related to B. sphaerocarpa, that have highly unusual flower [22] As of February 2007, the cause was still unknown.[20] Chemical analysis of B. telmatiaea nectar has shown it to have a normal nectar sugar composition,[24] albeit dominated by sucrose.[20]

Reproductive success is strongly affected by insects that infest the flower spikes and fruiting structures. Infestation of the flower spikes is not as severe as in other Banksia species: one study found less than 10% of B. telmatiaea inflorescences to be infested, compared to over 50% for B. attenuata (Candlestick Banksia), B. littoralis and B. menziesii (Menzies' Banksia), and over 90% for B. grandis (Bull Banksia). Also, whereas other species were attacked by a range of insects, the inflorescence of B. telmatiaea was attacked only by the tortrix moth Arotrophora arcuatalis (Banksia Boring Moth), which burrows into the woody axis, rendering the spike barren. On the other hand, the same study observed heavy infestation of fruiting structures, with over 90% of spikes with follicles found to contain at least one larva of an unidentified species of moth of the genus Xylorycta. These larvae burrow from follicle to follicle to eat the seed, resulting in 100% seed loss for infested spikes.[3]

Four species of bird have been observed visiting the flowers of B. telmatiaea: the red wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata),[4] silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), New Holland honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) and the brown honeyeater (Lichmera indistincta). The introduced European honeybee (Apis mellifera) is also commonly observed, and visits by ants and Hylaeus plasterer bees have been recorded. Visits by nectarivorous mammals have not been directly observed, but their involvement in pollination is certain, as their scats have often been found on inflorescences,[20] and studies of other Banksia species have consistently demonstrated their involvement.[21] Moreover, a number of characteristics of the B. telmatiaea spike are purported to be adaptations to pollination by nocturnal mammals: the strong, musky odour,[20] the occurrence of inflorescences hidden within the foliage close to the ground, the large amounts of nectar produced, and the pattern of nectar production, which peaks at dawn and dusk. This last adaptation is thought to favour visits by birds and mammals, which feed in the morning and evening respectively, as opposed to insects, which are most active during the day.[15]

Recruitment of seedlings at the same location four months later.
Bushfire kills adult plants, but also triggers the release of seed, ensuring rapid regeneration.

Unlike many Banksia species, B. telmatiaea lacks a [19]

Like most other Proteaceae, B. telmatiaea has proteoid roots, roots with dense clusters of short lateral rootlets that form a mat in the soil just below the leaf litter. These roots are particularly efficient at absorbing nutrients from nutrient-poor soils, such as the phosphorus-deficient native soils of Australia.[16]


Favoured soils are deep grey sandy loams or shallower sand overlying claypan. Associated vegetation is typically scrubland or shrubland, although moisture-loving trees such as B. littoralis (Swamp Banksia) or Melaleuca preissiana (Moonah) may also be present, sometimes in sufficient numbers to form a low open woodland.[4][15]

The species favours lowland areas that are seasonally wet but never inundated, such as the margins of swamps and marshes. For example, in the Yule Brook Botany Reserve, where parallel sand ridges cross a clay flat, B. telmatiaea occurs neither in the lowest parts of the flat, where seasonal inundation occurs; nor on the tops of the ridges, where the drainage is good; but it is one of the most abundant plants of intermediate habitats, on ridge slopes and in higher areas of the clay flat.[14]

B. telmatiaea grows only in the Swan Coastal Plain, Geraldton Sandplains and Jarrah Forest biogeographic regions, inland from the coast but never east of the Darling Scarp. It occurs from Hill River near Badgingarra in the north, to Serpentine in the south. Most populations occur north of Moore River or south of Cannington, there being only a few scattered populations in between.[4]

Distribution of B.telmatiaea

Distribution and habitat

Early in 2007, Mast and Thiele initiated a rearrangement of Banksia by merging Dryandra into it, and publishing B. subg. Spathulatae for the taxa having spoon-shaped cotyledons. They foreshadowed publishing a full arrangement once DNA sampling of Dryandra was complete; in the meantime, if Mast and Thiele's nomenclatural changes are taken as an interim arrangement, then B. telmatiaea is placed in B. subg. Spathulatae.[13]

B. telmatiaea

B. scabrella

B. leptophylla var. melletica

B. leptophylla var. leptophylla

B. lanata

B. grossa

Since 1998, polytomous clade consisting of B. leptophylla, B. telmatiaea, B. scabrella and B. lanata, with B. grossa (Coarse Banksia) as the nearest outgroup:[10][11][12]

B. subg. Banksia
B. sect. Banksia (9 series, 50 species, 9 subspecies, 3 varieties)
B. sect. Coccinea (1 species)
B. sect. Oncostylis
B. ser. Spicigerae (7 species, 2 subspecies, 4 varieties)
B. ser. Tricuspidae (1 species)
B. ser. Dryandroideae (1 species)
B. ser. Abietinae
B. sphaerocarpa (3 varieties)
B. micrantha
B. grossa
B. telmatiaea
B. leptophylla (2 varieties)
B. lanata
B. scabrella
B. violacea
B. incana
B. laricina
B. pulchella
B. meisneri (2 subspecies)
B. nutans (2 varieties)
B. subg. Isostylis (3 species)

The placement of B. telmatiaea in George's 1999 arrangement may be summarised as follows:[1]

Thiele and Ladiges' arrangement was not accepted by George, and was largely discarded by him in [1]

This clade became the basis of B. subser. Leptophyllae, which Thiele defined as containing those species with "indurated and spinescent common bracts on the infructescence axes, and densely arachnose seedling stems." In accordance with their cladogram, their arrangement placed B. telmatiaea next to B. scabrella.[9]

B. telmatiaea

B. scabrella

B. leptophylla var. melletica

B. leptophylla var. leptophylla

B. lanata

In 1996, monophyletic, and so retained. It further resolved into four subclades, so Thiele and Ladiges split it into four subseries. B. telmatiaea appeared in the third of these:[9]

George placed B. telmatiaea in subgenus [2]

Infrageneric placement

[8] include swamp fox banksia and marsh banksia.B. telmatiaea Common names for [7]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.