THE LIFE CYCLE OF THE ACORN BANKSIA WESTERN AUSTRALIA
'Banksia' brooch modeled by a friend and the Banksia tree
I absolutely love the Banksia bush and its flowers. I have an 'Acorn Banksia' in my front garden which I picked up from the 'men of the trees' this tree has done exceptionally well and brings hundreds of nectar feeding native birds flocking to it. It is not uncommon to get knocks on my door from people wanting to show me the huge flocks of birds going berserk on this tree. Birds being such skittish critters, I am yet to get a photo of this. I have begged neighbours to get photos when they witness the phenomenon again.....still waiting.
Anyhow...after making my Banksia brooches I decided to take photos of one new flower as it grows and develops. My plan is to pop the photos at regular intervals on this blog.
THE FIRST STAGES OF AN ACORN BANKSIA-
this is the first pic of the nominated flower taken on Monday Oct 27th '08
the next pic was taken a week later Saturday Nov1st.
this link will take you to more Banksia photos. (for those that are interested.)
This pic was taken today Sunday 9th Nov'08. It wasnt quite so breezy today. Which is something I didnt consider when I thought of progressing their growth. DUH.....
Monday 17th November at 1pm I took this photo of our Banksia baby. Look what happened in 8days? Wow it's 4 1/2cm's
Sat 22nd November 10am. I had the camera out so thought I would take it now. It has grown to 7cm's. That's 2 1/2 cms in only 5days.
Sunday 30th Nov 11.45am It is now exactly 10 cm's tall. Just shy of 4inches.
7th week on the 7th December at 11am I took this photo of the banksia. it has grown to 13cm's now. Its quite impressive. So in 7days that is 3cms. Good aye?
Midday Sunday 14th Dec2008 it is now 14 1/2 cms tall
It must be slowing down now because in 7 days it has only grown 1 1/2 cms in height.
It has taken 8 weeks to get to this size.
I was a little late in doing this one. I remembered on Monday morning so went out promptly and took this photo.
Monday 22nd December2008 7am. growth in height is now 16cm (6 1/4")
It's growing 1 1/2cm a week. looks like it is slowing down.
Monday 2nd February 2009. The flower has really developed now. It is a shame I missed a month of growth. But I was unable find anyone who was staying around during the summer break. The photo beside the flower is what the whole tree looks like at the moment.
Beautiful isnt it?
This photo was taken this morning around 11am. Sunday february the 8th 2009.
The flowers are opening and becoming more dense. The whole tree is covered with bees.
Ok I know, I forgot. I didnt realise I missed a Sunday until Friday so thought I would leave it until the 15th and then what did I do? I forgot again.
I took this photo 8 days late this Morning when the light was soft and beautiful for nature pics.
as you can see there is a huge difference in so short a time.
The brown bracks in the back ground once looked this pretty. We'll watch this one die back and go through a metamorphose as they are doing.
It takes five months to get to this state. Now that the nectar flowers have fully opened and cover the acorn the lower flowers are starting to transform.
THE START OF THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE ACORN BANKSIA-
13Monday 2nd March 2009 7.30am. The banksia flower is now in its last stages. What I didnt see when taking these photos was that a flower branch was growing out from the bottom of the flower. The next two shots will show this. I will start to photgraph the growth and changes of two new growths associated with this particular flower. I will pay better attention in the future.
13 How did I miss this growth??? the banksia has a fast growth cycle. There is another flower bud growing just behind our flower which can be seen in the next photo.
14Here's our flower, the new branch coming from beneath it and right behind at a branch junction is new growth. While I catch the changes of our flower I will also shoot the changes in this new growth around it.
March 8th Sunday 8.20am '09
I took photos of all three growths. The original flower has become all spikey now and is browning off. The growth at the junction behind it is very slow growing. It doesnt seem to have grown at all during the week. Though I am sure it has. If only slightly.
The new branch from under the original flower has finished growing and a flower is now developing at the end.
Half way through march'09 and the cycle of the Banksia flower still continues.
All the nectar stamins have hardened to stick like. The seed will start to develop from the heart of the flower.
March22nd Sunday, not much change in size from last week. Maybe due to the cooler nights we are now having. .......?
Wednesday 8th July 2009
The banksia tree is now moving out of dormancy. There are pockets of new growth florishing all over the bush. When I checked it out, the new growth was actually the coming back into growth what we left off as new growth in March. So that was basicly a 3 month sleep.
It will be interesting to see how fast this new growth takes off this time around. I'll photograph it again on Sunday to keep track again.
Sunday morning 26th July I took more photos. The 'oldman' banksia looks like he is on his last legs byt dont be fooled. He has plenty of life in him yet.
as you can see on this photo ( a closeup) the healthy bud at the top of the banksia.
on this photo you can see the velvety seed pods on the Banksia.
This is the beginnings of the secondary growth. The one which has sprouted from under the original banksia. Those are soft velvety leaves just starting. Its lovely to touch.
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