Banksia prolata (syn. Dryandra longifolia)

Distribution Map
Family: Proteaceae
Distribution: South coast of Western Australia in shrubland or heathland.
Common Name: No generally accepted common name.
Derivation of Name: Banksia...after Sir Joseph Banks.
prolata...From Latin prolatus, to extend or lengthen, referring to the long, narrow leaves of this species.
Conservation Status: Not currently listed under the EPBC Act*, however coded as "3RC-" under the ROTAP* system due to its restricted occurrence.

General Description:

Banksia is a large genus of over 200 species in the Protea family, having been increased in size through the transfer of species in the former genus Dryandra to Banksia (see box). The genus is almost exclusively Australian, being found in all States and Territories. A single species (B.dentata) is found in islands to Australia's north as well as in tropical Australia.

Banksia prolata subsp. archeos
Banksia prolata subsp. archeos (syn. Dryandra longifolia subsp. archeos)
Photo: Margaret Pieroni

As a result of the transfer of the genus Dryandra to Banksia, Dryandra longifolia was renamed Banksia prolata as the name Banksia longifolia had been previously applied to a plant taxon, although the name B.longifolia is not current.

Banksia prolata is a small to medium shrub 0.4 to about 3 metres high. The linear-shaped leaves are up to 300 mm long with stiff, triangular lobes along their length. The individual small flowers occur in bright yellow inflorescences on short branches. Flowering occurs from early winter to mid spring.

There are three recognised subspecies: subsp. prolata, subsp. archeos and subsp. calcicola. Differentiation between the subspecies is difficult to the non-botanist.

B.prolata has been grown by enthusiasts for some years but is not widely cultivated. It has succeeded in areas without humid, wet summers but can be expected to be difficult to maintain in humid temperate and tropical areas. Excellent drainage and a sunny location are preferred.

Propagation from seed is relatively easy and cuttings may be successful but slow to strike.

* EPBC Act = Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999;
  ROTAP = Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (Briggs and Leigh, 1988)
  For further information refer the Australian Plants at Risk page

Transfer of Dryandra to Banksia
A paper published in 2007 proposed that the genus Dryandra be subsumed into Banksia. This revised classification has been accepted by the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria and the new Banksia names now appear on Florabase (the website for the Western Australian Herbarium) and in the Australian Plant Census.

The new classification has come in for some criticism but, as the Austraian Plant Census has been adopted as the authority on plant names by ANPSA, the revised classication has been accepted on the ANPSA website. The previous Dryandra names will also be mentioned where appropriate. For further information see Banksia: Background.

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