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  ― 139 ―

No. 143: Banksia spinulosa,


A Honeysuckle.


Botanical Description.

— Genus, Banksia(See Part VIII, p. 169.)

Botanical description. — Species, B. spinulosa, Sm. Specim., Bot. N. Holl. 1,3, t. 4 (1793).

A tall shrub, glabrous, or the young branches minutely pubescent.

Leaves narrow — linear, notched at the end with a prominent point in the notch, and often bordered towards the end with two or three small teeth on each side, otherwise entire, with revolute margins and the midrib prominent underneath, 1 1/2 to 3 inches long.

Spikes ovoid, and 2 to 3 inches long or rarely cylindrical and twice as long. (More usually cylindrical. — J.H.M.)

Bracts with broad, shortly acuminate, silky-pubescent tips.

Flowers yellow, larger than in B. ericifolia.

Perianth silky, the tube nearly 1 inch long.

Style, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch long, often purple, with a very short stigmatic end not thicket. than the style.

Fruiting-cone cylindrical.

Capsules scarcely protruding, glabrous, thick, smooth. (B. Fl. v, 547).

Botanical Name.

— Banksia, already explained (see Part VIII, p. 170); spinulosa, a diminutive from the Latin spinus, a thorn or prickle, and hence, having small thorns or prickles. It refers, in the present species, to the small teeth of the margin of the leaf.

Vernacular Names.

— I know of none. People could, of course, call it the "Spinulous-leaved Honeysuckle," but with every desire to further the use of vernacular names for plants, I very much doubt the practical utility of designations such as these. Only educated men could be expected to use such a name as the one I have quoted, but what use it would be to them I fail to see, since they would have no diffilculty in saying "Banksia spinalosa," a shorter and more euphonious name.

The spread of education generally and the teaching of botany in schools will go far to promote the use of botanical names amongst people at large. Vernacular names, which are plant nick-names, will be increasingly coined as the public learn to discriminate more plants, but it does not seem easy to control the choice of the great public in this matter. European names are the product of a thousand years and more.

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— B. dentliculata, Dum-Cours. (according to Meissner).


— Note the spinulose margin (see plate).


— This is a tall shrub, not a timber tree. I doubt if I have seen it with a thicker stem- diameter than 5 inches. Room should be found for it in quite a small garden.

Habitat. — This species is confined to New South Wales. In the Flora Australiensis, it is recorded from Port Jackson, Richmond (Nepean River), and Twofold Bay, which is not far from the Victorian border.

In the National Herbarium, Sydney, it is represented from the following intermediate localities:— Cataract Dam (J.H.M.); Barber's Creek (H. G. Rumsey); Bateman's Bay (J. L. Boorman); Buddawang, or Mount Baldy, near Braidwood (J. L. Boorman). It is also not uncommon on the Blue Mountains, even on the highest and more westerly parts, e.g., Mount Victoria (J.H.M.); Clarence Siding (J. L. Boorman).


Plate No. 147: A Honeysuckle (Banksia spinulosa, Sm.) Lithograph by Margaret Flockton.

  • A. Flowering spike, from North Ryde, Parramatta River.
  • B. Unexpanded flower.
  • C. Expanded flower, showing —
    • (a) Four-lobed corolla with stamens.
    • (b) Pistil.
  • D. Corolla lobes —
    • (a) Showing stamen (sessile anther) in the concave laminæ.
    • (b) Back view.
  • E. Stigma.
  • F. Fruiting spike showing the prominent capsules, containing the winged seeds.
  • G. Seeds with dissepiment —
    • (a) Plate (dissepiment) separating the two winged seeds (b.b).
  • H. Part of leaf showing recurved edge and spines.
  • K. Leaf of larger form, from Mount Victoria.

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