[Daily article] April 3: Banksia sphaerocarpa

Banksia sphaerocarpa, the fox banksia, is a shrub (occasionally a tree)
in the family Proteaceae. Generally 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) high, this
banksia has narrow green leaves and, from January to July, brownish,
orange or yellow round flower spikes. The species is widely distributed
across the southwest of Western Australia, growing exclusively in sandy
soils. A dominant plant in scrubland or low woodland, it is pollinated
by, and is a food source for, birds, mammals, and insects. First
described in 1810 by botanist Robert Brown, the species has a
complicated taxonomic history, and several taxa once classified as part
of a broadly defined B. sphaerocarpa have since been named as species
in their own right. Most authorities recognise five varieties; the
largest, B. sphaerocarpa var. dolichostyla (ironcap banksia), is
sometimes given species rank as B. dolichostyla. According to the
Wildlife Conservation Act of Western Australia, B. sphaerocarpa is not
threatened. None of the varieties is commonly seen in cultivation.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Edward the Confessor (pictured on coin) was crowned King of
England, the last king of the House of Wessex.


Henry II of France and Philip II of Spain signed a treaty to
end the Italian War of 1551–1559.


Joseph Stalin became the first General Secretary of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union.


An uprising began on Jeju Island, eventually leading to the
deaths of between 14,000 and 30,000 individuals due to fighting between
its various factions, and the violent suppression of the rebellion by
the South Korean army.


Texas law enforcement authorities raided the Fundamentalist
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ YFZ Ranch, eventually
removing 533 women and children from the premises.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

The essence of what it means to be a chair; the qualities that make a
chair what it is.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  I think if we study the primates, we notice that a lot of these
things that we value in ourselves, such as human morality, have a
connection with primate behavior. This completely changes the
perspective, if you start thinking that actually we tap into our
biological resources to become moral beings. That gives a completely
different view of ourselves than this nasty selfish-gene type view that
has been promoted for the last 25 years.  
–Jane Goodall

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