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Flora of Australia Online

Banksia sceptrum Meisn., Hooker's J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 7:120 (1855)
Sceptre Banksia

Sirmuellera sceptrum (Meisn.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 582 (1891). T: N of the Hutt R., W.A., 1850–51, J.Drummond 6: 206 ; lecto: BM, fide A.S.George, Nuytsia 3: 335 (1981); isolecto: CGE, FI, K, LD, MEL, NSW, NY, P, U.

Illustrations: A.S.George, Banksia Book 113–115, fig. 23, pl. 43 (1984); C.E.Rosser & A.S.George, Banksias II: pl. 44 (1988).

Shrub to 5 m tall and 4 m wide, without lignotuber. Bark smooth or slightly tessellated, grey. Stems tomentose, glabrescent. Leaves: petiole 5–8 mm long; lamina oblong, 4–9 cm long, 1–3 cm wide, truncate or emarginate; margins flat, very shortly and obtusely dentate; both surfaces densely tomentose, glabrescent except fine pits in lower surface. Inflorescence terminal, showy, 7–21 cm long; involucral bracts tomentose, falling early. Flowers yellow including styles. Perianth 28–32 mm long including limb of 6–8 mm, hirsute outside, glabrous inside. Pistil markedly S-shaped below apex, 40–50 mm long, shortly pubescent in lower half, glabrous above; pollen presenter fusiform with basal swelling, 3.5–4 mm long, 8-ribbed. Old flowers persistent. Follicles up to 50, broadly elliptic, 15–25 mm long, 8–18 mm high, 10–16 mm wide, smooth, pubescent, mottled. Seed obovate, 30–35 mm long; seed body obovate, 11–14 mm long, 7–9 mm wide, muricate inside, slightly rugose outside. Fig. 27F, G.

Occurs in W.A. near the central west coast, between Hamelin Pool and Geraldton, extending inland almost to Mullewa. Grows in deep yellow or pale red sand in tall shrubland, commonly on dunes. Flowers Dec.–Jan. Map 200.

W.A.: The Loop Rd, Kalbarri Natl Park, M.I.H.Brooker 2383 (PERTH); c. 40 km N of Murchison R., North West Coastal Hwy, R.B.Filson 8594 (MEL); Wicherina, E of Geraldton, 23 Dec. 1959, M.C.George (PERTH).

A distinctive species especially in the S-shaped upper part of the pistil and the oblong, very shortly dentate leaves. Killed by fire and regenerates from seed. Follicles usually opening with fire, splitting from stylar point. The inflorescence takes about 7 months to develop from beginning of elongation of the axis to anthesis.

(A.S.George)

 

Data derived from Flora of Australia Volumes 16 (1995), 17A (2000) and 17B (1999), products of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia