Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it. And in many ways it is my journal of everyday life. If you click on the Index you can see my posts under various topic headings.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
Most recently I have been enjoying exploring other art genres, including Eco-printing with Australian leaves onto cloth and paper.
I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab.
Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".



Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Celebration of the Australian Banksia

On Easter Saturday we celebrated my nephew's wedding in Perth. Despite the drizzling rain it was a beautiful day. The bride's bouquet was mostly Australian native wildflowers. The main flower you can see here is Banksia.  There is also some Australian eucalypti and South African protea.

Banksia is from the Proteaceae family. 

Spread across the southern hemisphere, it is most commonly found in Australia and the southern regions of Africa. Australian native Proteaceae include Hakeas, Banksias, Lambertias, Dryandra, Macadamias, and Grevilleas, and the Warratah, the state flower of the Australian state, New South Wales. (from the net:  proteaceae - flowers for everyone)

The Proteaceae family comprises about 80 genera with about 1,600 species. There are 173 Banksia species, and all but one occur naturally only in Australia. 
 South western Australia contains the greatest diversity of banksias, with 60 species recorded.  (from the web - Australian National Herbarium)

The presence of the Proteaceae family in Australia, South America and South Africa led scientists to put forward the idea that these land masses were once joined, forming a supercontinent which they named Gondwanaland. Australia has the greatest diversity of Proteaceae. They occur in the rainforests, the deserts, on coastal sand dunes and in alpine regions.  (from the net: ABC gardening)

 Here are two examples:  Ashby's Banksia and the Showy Dryandra. 

I love taking wildflower photos, but I am not a botanist, so I can't absolutely identify any of the banksias below, but I hope you enjoy the images. These have been mostly taken around the South West of Western Australia.

Banksias are named after botanist Sir Joseph Banks who came to Australia with Captain James Cook who, in 1770, discovered and charted New Zealand, the Great Barrier Reef, and "discovered" the east coast of Australia on his ship Endeavor. Sir Joseph Banks made the first European study of Australian flora and fauna and collect specimens of these plants.. (on the web - Sir Joseph Banks)

Here is a diagram from Australian National Botanic Gardens web site.  

The Acorn Banksia, Banksia prionotes, can reach up to 10 metres in height. This one is near Yealering the the wheatbelt. 

Banksias seen near Kalbarri, along our mid west coast

The Firewood Banksia - Banksia menziesii -  seen near Warradarge, south of Eneabba, also along the mid west coast. 

The Tennis Ball Banksia - Banksia laevigata - seen along the Hyden-Norseman Road south of the goldfields. It flowers from September to January, is noted in my wildflower book as uncommon, and unfortunately not flowering when we saw it. 

  The stunningly beautiful Scarlet Banksia - Banksia coccinea - which we saw in the Fitzgerald River National Park in the far south. My dauther-in-law included this flower in her wedding bouquet.  The plant grows to 8 metres. 

Below you can see the flower forming on the RHS to fully open in the middle photo. In the first photo you can see the red parts of the flower folded over in curls, which open out as the flower matures as in the second photo.

 The Holly-Leaved Banksia - Banksia ilicifolia - which we saw in Manea Park near Bunbury and flowers all year round. It is the only banksia that doesn't produce flower spikes.

Seen at Hoffman’s Mill east of Harvey, my daughter-in-law believes this is a Swamp Banksia - Banksia Littoralis 

Banksias in the karri forests at Shannon near Pemberton. 

 There are some unusual varieties. Seen in the Fitzgerald River National Park, the one on the left I "think" is the Creeping Banksia - Banksia repens - which is a creeping shrub with an underground stem.  Or it could be the Prostrate Banksia - Banksia gardneri.

Whilst the one on the right is Shining Honeypot - Dryandra obtusa - which seems to flower out of the ground and is listed in my identification book as uncommon.  I've included it because it is so unusual and the Dryandra is a member of the Proteaceae family.

Some Banskias, like these seen in Fitzgerald River National Park hang downwards. This "could be" Leemann's Banksia - Banksia lemanniana

 Here are some more from Fitzgerald - an amazing place to visit to see wildflowers in spring. The one of the left is after flowering. The seeds are held in the pods that form on the side of the cone.

 Also seen in Fitzergerald, I am not sure if these are Banksias or Dryandras - both the same family, you can see the similarities. They have the same saw-tooth leaves.

And some banksias from around the area where I live.  I haven't been able to identify this one. 

The Bull Banksia - Banksia grandis - which grows from 2-10 metres high, with the flowers in a cylinder shape 10-40cm long and 8-10cm wide. Very common around my area, flowering from September to January. 

Below you can see the Candlestick Banksia - Banksia attenuata. 
These flower around my area at Christmas time. They remind me of giant Christmas candles.

Below you can see the different stages of the flower. Birds and bees love them.

Australian children grow up with the story of the gum nut babies, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs, and the bad banksia men depicted by banksia nuts like you can see here.  A scary depiction indeed in the imagination of a child.

(from the net - May Gibbs)

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays

Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup 
Our World Tuesday

Through My Lens 
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

The Weekly Postcard 

You might also like - 
The trees are blooming for Christmas
Bushwalking at Hoffmans Mill
Hopetoun & Fitzgerald River National Park