Wp/nys/Biara (Candlestick Banksia)

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Biara, Biyara or piara, known in English as the candlestick banksia, candle banksia or slender banksia, is a species of plant in the family Proteaceae. Its scientific name is Banksia attenuata. Commonly a tree, it reaches 10 m high, but is often a shrub in drier areas 0.4 to 2 m high. It has long narrow serrated leaves wer bright yellow inflorescences, or flower spikes, held above the foliage, which appear in spring wer summer (English months September to February: Noongar bonar Kambarang, Birak wer Bunuru). The flower spikes age to grey wer swell with the development of the woody follicles. It is found across much of Noongar boodjar, from north of Kalbarri National Park down to Cape Leeuwin wer across to Fitzgerald River National Park.


N.B. Biyara is not a hairpin banksia (Banksia spinulosa), which is a species of woody shrub, of the genus Banksia in the Proteaceae family, native to Eastern Australia.

The biara is pollinated by wer provides food for a wide array of vertebrate wer invertebrate animals in summer months. Several species of honeyeater visit the flower spikes, as does the honey possum, which has an important role as a pollinator. Biara regenerates from bushfire by regrowing from its woody base known as a lignotuber, or from epicormic buds within its trunk. Plants may have a lifespan of 300 years. It has been widely used as a street tree wer for amenities planting in urban Western Australia, though its large size generally precludes use in small gardens. A dwarf form is commercially available in nurseries.

The Noongar wer Yamatji people place the flower spike in a Biboolboorn (Paperbark)-lined hole filled with water to make a sweet drink.

Both nidja species wer the wallum banksia (an East coast Banksia) have been credited with the inspiration behind May Gibbs' "Big Bad Banksia Men". Biara was familiar to Gibbs in her childhood wer likely gave her the initial inspiration, although the depictions resemble the latter species.[1]

Artist Marianne North produced a highly regarded painting of a biara during her stay in Australia in 1880–1881.[1][2]

Flower spikes in late bud are used in the cut flower industry,[1] primarily in Western Australia.[3]

The page for Banksia attenuata il the English WikiPedia was the featured page il 28 February 2017. This page owes a lot to the editors of that page.



Banksia attenuata is generally encountered as a tree yira to 10 m tall. In the north of its range as the climate becomes warmer wer dryer, it is often a stunted multistemmed shrub 0.4 to 2 m tall. Both forms occur in the vicinity of Hill River but there is otherwise a marked demarcation.[4]

A large tree in Bold Park, Perth. The trunk is characteristically wavy or bent.

In the Wheatbelt wer east of Koikyennuruff (Stirling Range), it is a stunted tree. Tree forms have a solid trunk, generally wavy or bent, with 1-2 cm thick crumbly orange-grey bark which is a red-brown underneath.[5] It regenerates from karla (fire) via lignotuber or epicormic buds from its fire-tolerant trunk. It has long narrow shiny green linear leaves 4 - 27 cm long wer 0.5 - 1.6 cm wide.[6][7] The leaf margins have v- or u-shaped serrations along their length. The new growth is a pale grey-green, wer occurs mainly in the late spring wer summer,[8] often after flowering. The brilliant yellow inflorescences (flower spikes) occur from spring into summer wer are yira 5 cm wide wer yira to 25 - 30 cm tall.[5] They are made yira of many small individual flowers; a study at Mount Adams 330 km North of Perth revealed a count of 1933 (± a standard error of 88) flowers per inflorescence,[9] wer another in the Fitzgerald River National Park yielded a count of 1720 (± 76) flowers. Anthesis proceeds yira the flower spike over about 10 to 20 days, wer is asynchronous. That is, a plant produces flower spikes over a several week period wer will thus have spikes at different stages of development over the flowering season.[10]

Often bright green in bud stage,[1] they are terminal, occurring at the ends of one- to three-year-old branches, wer displayed prominently above the foliage.[5] The smell of the open flowers has been likened to a peppery Shiraz wine.[1] Over time, the spikes fade to brown wer then grey,[6] wer the individual flowers shrivel wer lie against the spikes. This coincides with the development of dark furry oval follicles, which measure 2 - 3.5 cm long, 1 - 1.5 cm high, wer 1.4 - 2 cm wide.[5] However, only a very small percentage (0.1%) of flowers develop into follicles; the field study at Mount Adams yielded a count of 3.6 ± 1.2 per cone.[9] The follicles develop wer mature over seven to eight months, from February to December, while seed development occurs over four months from September to December.[11]



See also Taxonomy of Banksia

A flower spike in early bud stage

Banksia attenuata was first collected by Robert Brown from King George Sound in December 1801, wer published by him in 1810. The specific epithet is the Latin adjective attenuatus meaning "narrowed", wer refers to the leaves narrowing towards the base.[6]

In 1981, Australian botanist Alex George published a revised arrangement that placed B. attenuata in the subgenus Banksia because of its flower spike, in section Banksia because its styles are straight rather than hooked, wer in the series Cyrtostylis, a large wer rather heterogenous series of twelve species. He noted its large emarginate cotyledons (having a notch in their apex) were quite different from other members, wer that it had similarities in flower architecture to another anomalous member B. elegans. He felt B. attenuata to have affinities to B. lindleyana wer B. media.[5]

An inflorescence halfway through anthesis as the flowers open upwards yira the spike.
The ageing flowers remain curled against the spike, as the furry follicles develop.

Alex George's arrangement remained current until 1996, when Kevin Thiele wer Pauline Ladiges published an arrangement informed by a cladistic analysis of morphological characteristics. They calculated B. attenuata to lie at the base of a large B. attenuataB.ashbyi clade, but conceded further work was needed before its relationships could be determined, wer left it as incertae sedis (i.e. its exact placement is unclear.).[12] Questioning the emphasis il cladistics in Thiele wer Ladiges' arrangement, George published a slightly modified version of his 1981 arrangement in his 1999 treatment of Banksia for the Flora of Australia series of monographs. To date, nidja remains the most recent comprehensive arrangement.[source?] The placement of B. attenuata in George's 1999 arrangement may be summarised as follows:[7]

B. subg. Banksia
B. sect. Banksia
B. ser. Cyrtostylis
B. media
B. praemorsa
B. epica
B. pilostylis
B. attenuata
B. ashbyi
B. benthamiana
B. audax
B. lullfitzii
B. elderiana
B. laevigata
B. laevigata subsp. laevigata
B. laevigata subsp. fuscolutea
B. elegans
B. lindleyana

Distribution and habitat

Distribution of B. attentuata across the southwest of Western Australia

The most widely distributed of yennar western banksias, Banksia attenuata occurs across a broad swathe of southwest of Western Australia, from Kalbarri National Park wer the Murchison River (with an outlying population in Zuytdorp Nature Reserve, near the site of the wreck of the Zuytdorp) southwards right to the southwestern corner of the state at Augusta wer Cape Leeuwin, wer then eastwards across the south to the western edge of Fitzgerald River National Park. Along the eastern border northwards it is found at Lake Grace, Lake Magenta north of Jerramungup, wer the Wongan Hills. It is restricted to various sandy soils, including white, yellow or brown sands, wer sand over either laterite or limestone. It forms an important component of open Eucalyptus woodland as a dominant or understory tree or tall shrub. To the north, it is a shrubby component of shrubland. It does not grow il heavy (clay-based) soils, wer is hence only found in sandy pockets.[8] Within open woodland, it is found alongside firewood banksia, holly-leaved banksia, acorn or orange banksia, (western) sheoak, Jarrah, or Tuart.[5] The annual rainfall within its distribution varies from 300 to 900 mm.[1]


A tree with new growth resprouting from epicormic buds after fire

Like many plants in south-west Western Australia, B. attenuata is adapted to an environment in which bushfire events are relatively frequent. Most Banksia species can be placed in keny of two broad groups according to their response to fire: reseeders are killed by fire, but fire also triggers the release of their canopy seed bank, thus promoting recruitment of the next generation; resprouters survive fire, resprouting from a lignotuber or, karro rarely, epicormic buds protected by thick bark.[13] Bearing epicormic buds wer a lignotuber, B. attenuata is keny of the latter group, with follicles that may open spontaneously or by fire.[5]

It is moderately serotinous, storing only keny tenth the number of seeds in its seed bank as the reseeding B. hookeriana which it coexists with il sand dunes in scrub at Eneabba north of Perth. Even then, many of its follicles do not release seed after a fire, but wait instead for the autumn rains.[14]

Ngiyan waarnk - References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Kevin Collins. Kathy Collins. Alex S. George. "Banksias". pub. Bloomings Books, Melbourne, Victoria. (2008). ISBN 1-876473-68-1. pp 68, 150–51
  2. "A West Australian Banksia". Kew Gardens website. Pub. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey. Retrieved 2 May 2017
  3. Lewis J. Matthews. (2002). "The Protea Book: A Guide to Cultivated Proteaceae". p 39. Pub. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-553-5
  4. Richard M. Cowling, Byron B. Lamont. "Variation in serotiny of three Banksia species along a climatic gradient". Australian Journal of Ecology (1985). Vol 10, Issue 3, pp 345–50. DOI 10.1111/j.1442-9993.1985.tb00895.x
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 George, Alex S. (1981). "The genus Banksia L.f. (Proteaceae)". Journal Nuytsia. Vol 3. Iss 3. pp 239–473
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Alex S. George. "The Banksia Book". 3rd ed. (1996). p 133. pub Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, New South Wales, ISBN 0-86417-818-2
  7. 7.0 7.1 George, Alex S. ed. Wilson, Annette. "Flora of Australia (series)". 1999. volume 17B. pp 175–251. pub. CSIRO Publishing / Australian Biological Resources Study. ISBN 0-643-06454-0
  8. 8.0 8.1 Anne Taylor. Stephen Hopper. (1988). "The Banksia Atlas (Australian Flora and Fauna Series Number 8)". Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. ISBN 0-644-07124-9. pp 54–55
  9. 9.0 9.1 Cowling, Richard M. Lamont, Byron B. "Seed bank dynamics in four co-occurring Banksia species". Journal of Ecology. V 75. Iss 2. pp 289–302. (1987). DOI 10.2307/2260419
  10. Wooller, Sue J. Wooller, Ronald D. "Seed set in two sympatric banksias, Banksia attenuata and B. baxter". Australian Journal of Botany. Vol 49. Iss 5. pp 597–602. (2001). DOI 10.1071/BT00084
  11. Stock, W.D. Pate, J.S. Rasins, E. "Seed developmental patterns in Banksia attenuata R.Br. and B. laricina C. Gardner in relation to mechanical defence costs". New Phytologist. Vol 117. Iss 1. pp 109–14. (1991). DOI 10.1111/j.1469-8137.1991.tb00950.x
  12. Kevin Thiele, Pauline Ladiges. "A cladistic analysis of Banksia (Proteaceae)". Australian Systematic Botany (1996), Vol 9, Iss 5, pp 661–733. DOI 10.1071/SB9960661
  13. Byron B. Lamont. Adrienne Markey. (1995). "Biogeography of fire-killed and resprouting Banksia species in South-western Australia". Australian Journal of Botany. Vol 43. Iss 3. pp 283–303. doi 10.1071/BT9950283
  14. N.J. Enright. B.B. Lamont. (1989). "Seed banks, fire season, safe sites and seedling recruitment in five co-occurring Banksia species". Journal of Ecology. Vol 77. Iss 4. pp 1111–22. doi 10.2307/2260826