|About 170 species; see List of Banksia species|
It is a genus of around 80 species in the plant family Proteaceae. As Australian wildflowers and popular garden plants, they are easily recognised by their characteristic flower spikes and fruiting "cones" and can vary from woody shrubs to trees up to 30 metres tall. They are generally found in a wide variety of landscapes; (occasionally) rainforest, shrubland, and some more arid landscapes, though not in Australia's deserts.
Heavy producers of nectar, banksias form a vital part of the food chain in the Australian bush. They are an important food source for all sorts of nectariferous animals, including birds, bats, rats, possums and a host of invertebrates. Furthermore, they are of economic importance to Australia's nursery and cut flower industries. However these plants are threatened by a number of processes including land clearing, frequent burning and disease, and a number of species are rare and endangered.
- Boland, D. J. et al. (1984). Forest Trees of Australia (Fourth edition revised and enlarged). CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia. ISBN 0-643-05423-5..
- George, A. S. (1981). "The Genus Banksia". Nuytsia 3 (3): 239–473.
- George, A. S. (1999). "Banksia". In Wilson, Annette (ed.). Flora of Australia: Volume 17B: Proteaceae 3: Hakea to Dryandra. CSIRO Publishing / Australian Biological Resources Study. pp. 175–251. ISBN 0-643-06454-0.
- Harden, Gwen (2002). "Banksia". In Harden, Gwen (ed). Flora of New South Wales: Volume 2 (Revised Edition). New South Wales University Press, Kensington. pp. 82–86. ISBN 0-86840-156-0.
- Thiele, Kevin and Ladiges, Pauline Y. (1996). "A Cladistic Analysis of Banksia (Proteaceae)". Australian Systematic Botany 9: 661–733.
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