SPECIES: Banksia oligantha — Wagin Banksia
Found in the southern wheatbelt of south-western WA, just west of Wagin and Katanning, grows a little-known species of Banskia. Unlike other Banksias, Wagin Banksia produces cone-shaped clusters of flowers, rather than 'Banksia' flower spikes. Flowers are cream grading down to red on the bottom half.
Wagin Banksia characteristically grows in sand and salt creeks and pops up amongst otherwise cleared farming land. In fact, there are quite a few scattered populations still managing to survive in fragments of remnant bushland in an area which has been mostly cleared for agriculture. An interesting feature of Wagin Banksia is its senstivity to fire. Whereas native flora is known to thrive in the face of fire, fire triggers this species to release seeds that will hopefully be the beginning of the next generation of trees to grow.
Photo: B & B Wells