Thiele and Ladiges' Taxonomic Arrangement of Banksia - Background

Background

See also: Banksia and Taxonomy of Banksia

Banksia is a genus of around 80 species in the plant family Proteaceae. An iconic Australian wildflower and popular garden plant, they are easily recognised by their characteristic flower spikes and fruiting "cones". They grow in forms varying from prostrate woody shrubs to trees up to 35 metres tall, and occur in all but the most arid areas of Australia. As heavy producers of nectar, they are important sources of food for nectariferous animals such as honeyeaters and honey possums, and they are of economic importance to the nursery and cut flower industries. However they are seriously threatened by a number of processes including land clearing, frequent burning, and disease, and a number of species are rare and endangered.

Specimens of Banksia were first collected by Sir Joseph Banks and Dr Daniel Solander, naturalists on HM Bark Endeavour during Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook's 1770 voyage to the Pacific Ocean. A number of arrangements were published in the 1800s, culminating in George Bentham's 1870 arrangement published in Flora Australiensis. This arrangement would stand for over a hundred years, before finally being replaced in 1981 by Alex George's revision, published in his landmark monograph The genus Banksia L.f. (Proteaceae).

Read more about this topic:  Thiele And Ladiges' Taxonomic Arrangement Of Banksia

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