Baby Banksias thrive in volunteer run nursery

Volunteers have rallied to save a once thriving Banksia marginata population at Charleston Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills. Devastated by the 2019 bushfires, this banksia population, once the second largest population in the Adelaide Hills has struggled to regenerate. Banksia are often killed by fire and regenerate from seed released from the burnt cones. The harsh conditions preceding the 2019 wildfire meant there was very little banksia seed set and the remnant is now struggling.

In an attempt to rescue the population, the Friends of Charleston have collected seed and plated over 20,000 banksias since 2019. This year the group have partnered with the passionate volunteers at the Fleurieu Coast Community Nursery to grow more than 2000 banksias to further bolster the population. This partnership is made possible through funding provided by the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife who generously support the project.

Recently volunteers from the Friends of Charleston Conservation Park joined forces in a working bee at the Yankalilla based nursery to pot up the valuable seedlings. With a target of 1000 baby banksias for the year everyone was thrilled to double the numbers!

The seedlings will make their way back to Charleston Conservation Park in June where they will be planted and nurtured by the Friends Group to give the population a second chance. Banksias are keystone species in that landscape where they punch far above their weight in terms of what they contribute to the local ecology. They provide nectar and seed to birds, insects and even mammals like the Yellow Footed Antechinus and Western Pygmy Possum.

National Parks and Wildlife SA