Broadway Arboretum

Species Information Page

Banksia prionotes Acorn Banksia



Location in Arboretum: Northern sandplains
No on Map: NS04

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  • In June 2009 the Acorn Banksia fell over in a storm. However, it may be replanted, so the information relating to this species has been retained.
  • The Acorn Banksia has "naked" fruits as illustrated by the photo above. In contrast the Wooly Orange Banksia retains the flowers around the fruit.
  • Samples collected from Acorn Banksia over 18 months indicates that it has shallow lateral roots and deeply penetrating tap (sinker) roots that obtain water of different origins over the course of a winter-wet/summer-dry annual cycle. During the wet season lateral roots acquire water mostly by uptake of recent precipitation (rain water) contained within the upper soil layers, and tap roots derived water from the underlying water table. The shoot obtained a mixture of these two water sources. As the dry season approached dependence on recent rain water decreased while that on ground water increased. In high summer, shallow lateral roots remained well-hydrated and shoots well supplied with ground water taken up by the tap root (1).
  • The main pollinators of Banksia prionotes are honeyeaters, including the New Holland Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Singing Honeyeater, White-cheeked Honeyeater, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater and Red Wattlebird. The pollination relationship between these birds and B. prionotes has been well studied. Other recorded pollinators include bees. Pollination by mammals has not been recorded, and it has been suggested that this species may require pollination by birds in order to set seed (2).
  • Is an important source of food for honey-eaters, and is critical to their survival in the Avon Wheatbelt region, where it is the only nectar-producing plant in flower at some times of the year (3).