Banksia menziesii is currently painting the bushland in hues of pink and yellow. Flowers range from pink and red through orange and coppery shades to brilliant yellow.  Some plants always flower yellow, some always pink, and some start the flowering season yellow and as winter temperatures drop, later opening flowers tend toward pink and red.  This tree at Richard Guelfi Reserve (below) always has yellow flowers. Behind it is a pink flowering Banksia menziesii.
Flower colour in Banksia menziesii has a complicated biochemical pathway. A number of factors, aside from temperature, affect the colour of individual flowers on the one tree. Anthocyanin is present in many plants (including purple vegetables) and is one flavonoid which affects flower colour in Banksia menziesii. 
Seed of Banksia menziesii is black or pale. Kevin Collins (Banksia breeder and member of the ANPSA Banksia Study Group) has a theory seed colour corresponds to flower colour.  Seed coat colour comes from the DNA of the female parent. Flower colour of progeny could come from male or female parent, thus seed coat colour and flower colour may not correspond. Alternatively, the colour of seed and flower may be entirely independent of each other. 
The Banksia menziesii next to the potting shed at work has half its seeds black and half pale (above).
Flowers on this tree are mainly pink but yellower at the start of the season. The photo (above) of flower spikes in bud was taken this week. This tree at Lake Gwelup (below) has pinker flower spikes in bud.
Scientific name Banksia menziesii
Common name Firewood Banksia
Flower February – October
yellow flower in March at Star Swamp
flower in April at Star Swamp
flower in June at Reabold Hill
This plant (below) always flowers with a brighter shade of yellow than the early yellow of variable flower colour plants.
Seed pod fruit forms a cone 
cone with closed follicles (above), cone with open follicles (below)
Associated wildlife insects and birds (honeyeaters, spinebills, wattlebirds) drink the nectar. Carnaby’s black cockatoo feed on nectar, grubs and seeds. Larvae of two weevils burrow in the cone, a moth larva burrows in the flower spike and another moth larva eats the leaves, leaving scribble marks.  Co-occurs with Banksia attenuata, each flowers for half the year, thus always providing nectar. 
Bark lumpy, grey
Growth habit medium sized lignotuberous tree,  with crooked branches.  After fire re-shoots from the lignotuber, as happened with the old tree next to the potting shed. Every shoot grew into a trunk over the years.
The banksia woodland at Richard Guelfi Reserve has many Banksia menziesii. This reserve is a remnant of bushland within an industrial area. It is very degraded and part of a project to amalgamate isolated pockets of bushland; control weeds, dieback and rabbits; and revegetate with local native plants.
Florabase record http://florabase.com/browse/profile/1834
- Barrett & Tay (2005) Perth Plants. Perth: BGPA.
- Croxford, Ben (2016) Personal Communication.
- Collins, Collins & George (2009) Banksias. Melbourne: Bloomings Books.
- Powell, Robert (2009) Leaf and Branch: Trees and Tall Shrubs of Perth. (2nd ed) Perth: DEC.