Banksia mimica, or the Summer Honeypot, is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and Vulnerable under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.
The main identified threat to Summer Honeypot is land clearing for agriculture and urban development. The main potential threats to the species include further clearing for urban development, dieback caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi (although some tolerance is present) and frequent fire, which may encourage weed invasion and subsequent degradation of habitat. Formally known as Dryandra mimica.
The Summer Honeypot is a prostrate, rhizomatous shrub with underground stems and leaves up to 41 cm long. The leaves are densely hairy beneath and have a prominent mid-rib. The juvenile leaves are hairy above, but lose the upper hairs as they mature. The fruits are up to 2 cm long and 1 cm wide. The yellow flowers have a tuft of long, white hairs at the apex and are grouped into erect heads borne at ground level. There are few fruits, which are densely hairy.
The Summer Honeypot flowers between December and January, but little is known about the pollination of the species. However, it is noted that the species produces extremely small amounts of seed, including the production of ‘barren cones’. Many plants occur as clumps that are vegetative clones. Like other members of the Proteacea, the species is thought to be responsive to fire. An experimental burn conducted on two subpopulations at Mogumber and subsequently confirmed that the Summer Honeypot resprouts from its lignotuber, with a lack of post-fire seedling establishment.
Summer Honeypot is known from three disjunct localities over a 300 km range from Mogumber to the north of Perth, the Darling Range, east of Perth, and the Whicher Range, south-east of Busselton, in south-western Western Australia.
Summer Honeypot grows on flat to gentle slopes in grey and white sand in open woodlands. In the Whicher Range this species grows in closed shrubland with a Banksia attenuata overstorey. Associated vegetation includes Andersonia sp., Stirlingia latifolia, Xanthorrhoea preisii, Leucopogon sp., Melaleuca thymoides and Petrophile sp..
In the Darling Range and Mogumber, it occurs in mixed low heath with a Banksia attenuata / B. menziesii open low woodland overstorey. It is associated with species such as Adenanthos cygnorum, Eucalyptus todtiana, Nuytsia floribunda, Jacksonia floribunda, Xanthorrhoea preisii, Banksia chamaephyton, Hakea conchifolia and Stirlingia latifolia.
The distribution of this species is not known to overlap with any EPBC Act-listed threatened ecological communities.
The Summer Honeypot has been successfully propagated by the Botanic Gardens and Western Australia Parks Authority.
Information Source: Government of Australia, Department of Environment and Department of Parks and Wildlife Western Australia