01 December 2008

Creeping Banksia - Banksia repens

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Creeping Banksia - Banksia repens

A very common ground spreading banksia in the Esperance region. It is one of the relatively few species that is not killed by fire and will re-spout quickly after rain. Maybe because of this vegetative survival capability, it is not a prolific flowerer (although stimulated by fire), taking several years to begin flowering from seed and then only occasionally, so it is not unusual to encounter a large area dominated by this plant, but with only a few blooms.

The spreading stems of the Creeping Banksia are usually underground (providing extra protection from fire), whilst the numerous long (to 40 cm or 1'4") deeply lobed leaves, hold themselves vertically above other low growing vegetation, and due to their size and unusual shape are quite distinctive. This is a very hardy banksia, growing in a variety of habitats and soil types, but the larger groupings tend to be in flat low-lying areas, particularly on flood plains.

Flower color is highly variable, with some plants having deep orange/red ones, whilst others soft pinky hues. These sit vertically on the soil surface (around 10 cm x 7.5 cm diameter, or 4" x 3") and no matter the color, are always pleasant to see. Their main flowering period is from (and including) September to November.