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Big Bird?... and with lots of hungry mouths to feed! Wallum Banksia, a shrub of the family Proteaceae, is quintessential Australian flora. Found on the Australian east coast, it is encountered as a shrub or a tree to 8 m (26 ft) in coastal heath on deep sandy soil known as "wallum". It has wrinkled orange-tinged bark and shiny green serrated leaves, with green-yellow flower spikes, known as inflorescences, appearing in autumn. The flower spikes turn grey as they age and large grey follicles appear. Banksia aemula resprouts from its woody base, known as a lignotuber, after bushfires.
This spotting was on the Neembeeba Track in Blue Lake National Park, North Stradbroke Island. Exposed area with native vegetation, extreme winds (at times), salty air, and sandy soil. Full all-day exposure to the sun. Naturally-seeded trees, and quite prolific on this part of the island.
May Gibbs, an Australian author, wrote a series of children's books called Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the first book in the series published in 1918. Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the gumnut babies, are the protagonists of the story and are modelled on the appearance of young Eucalyptus (gum tree) nuts. The villains are the Banksia Men which are modelled on the appearance of aged Banksia 'cones', with follicles for eyes and other facial features. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snugglepot...
Spotted on Dec 18, 2015
Submitted on Apr 30, 2016
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