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Banksia brownii

Feather-leaved banksia

About the plant

Banksia brownii is indigenous to the far south-western corner of Western Australia, between Albany and the Stirling Range.

  • Critically endangered

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Banked in the MSB
    Seeds from this plant have been banked in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst in Sussex
  • Invertebrate food
    Plant is eaten by native and feral animals
  • Click on icon to reveal more

Facts

  • Only around 1,000 plants exist in the wild
  • Fine feather-like leaves
  • Large red-brown flower spikes

Fire-adapted plants

Banksia brownii has adapted to bushfires. Fire triggers seed dispersal and smoke breaks seed dormancy. Heavy rains following the fires then help the seedlings establish quickly.

But when fires are too frequent, because of climate change and land management policies, adult plants burn before they produce the seed for future generations.


Control the mould

B. brownii is also threatened by the soil-borne water mould Phytophthora cinnamomi.

Local teams apply phosphite via aerial spraying to many populations to protect plants from infection and help recovery.

Collecting and preserving its seed, together with growing healthy specimens at other locations, offers the best chance for long-term conservation. We have seeds stored in the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst.


Name fame

Banksia brownii was first collected by William Baxter in 1829 from King George Sound and officially described by him in 1830.

The genus name honours Sir Joseph Banks, Kew’s unofficial first director who travelled to Australia with Captain Cook on HMS Endeavour from 1768 to 1771.

The species epithet honours Robert Brown, a Scottish botanist known for his exploration of Australia, who circumnavigated Australia with Captain Matthew Flinders on HMS Investigator in the early 1800s.

Name honours two important botanists: Joseph Banks and Robert Brown
  • Critically endangered

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of the world’s species. The ongoing mission is to evaluate every plant species in the world.

    IUCN Red List Status:

    Not yet evaluated
    Data deficient
    Least concern
    Near threatened
    Vulnerable
    Endangered
    Critically endangered
    Extinct in the wild
    Extinct
  • Banked in the MSB
    Seeds from this plant have been banked in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst in Sussex
  • Invertebrate food
    Plant is eaten by native and feral animals
  • Click on icon to reveal more