Banksia L.f.

Commemorating Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820), patron of science who travelled with Cook’s first voyage to New Holland.

Shrubs or sometimes trees, occasionally with lignotubers. Leaves usually alternate, occasionally whorled, simple, entire or divided, leathery. Flowers bisexual in pairs, many together forming a cylindrical or spherical mostly terminal upright or pendulous cone-like structure with a woody centre and basal bracts. Perianth more or less regular, tube straight or curved. Ovary with 2 ovules. Fruit woody and cone-like with mouth-like follicles embedded in the sides; seeds 2 with a woody separator.

Banksias are exceptional horticultural subjects grown for their interesting buds, fabulous birdattracting flower spikes, bizarre fruiting cones and ornamental leaves.

72 species from Australia (over 60 from WA), New Guinea (1) and the Aru Islands.

Seed or cuttings, those susceptible to root problems are sometimes grafted.

An important genus for the cut flower industry and arts and crafts, the flowers being selected for uniformity and reliability of flowering time.

Large, attractive cone-like flower spikes with prominent hard styles.

VIC: Coleraine (Points Arboretum); Cranbourne (Royal Bot. Gds). NSW: Mt Annan (Bot. Gds).

Holliday & Watten (1975), George (1981, 1984, 1999), Cavanagh (1997). In view of the variable range of species cultivated, a key has been omitted.

Source: Spencer, R.; Molyneux, B.; Mathews, D. (2002). Proteaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image

Cultivars of hybrid origin

B. 'Birthday Candles' PVJ 3(1)5.

B. 'Waite Crimson' Medium to tall, dense shrub to about 3.5 m tall. Leaves greygreen, toothed. Flowers in compact crimson and grey-hairy heads with crimson styles; spring, mostly Oct. A  B. coccinea selection released in 1992 by the Waite Institute, SA. Popular as a cut flower. PVJ 8(2)8.

B. 'Waite Flame' Medium shrub with numerous flowers having hairy grey perianths and orange red styles; peak flowering time July. B. hookeriana × B. prionotes, raised at the Waite Institute, SA. Popular as a cut flower. PVJ 8(2)9.

B. 'Waite Orange' Large, dense shrub 3-8 m tall, 3-6 m wide. Leaves narrow with toothed edges. Buds large, white, opening to golden orange; autumn-winter. B. hookeriana × B. prionotes, raised at the Waite Institute, SA. Popular as a cut flower. PVJ 4(2)9.

Banksia 'Giant Candles'

Medium shrub similar to B. ericifolia. Leaves entire, linear, margins rolled under. Flower spike deep orange, up to 40 cm long; summer and autumn. A hybrid that arose at the nsy of Sylvia Peach, Brisbane, probably B. ericifolia var. ericifolia × B. spinulosa var. spinulosa. Exceptional screening and bird plant. Further crosses have been made.

Banksia 'Lemon Delicious'

Hybrid between B. spinulosa and B. 'Giant Candles'.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Proteanae
order      Proteales
family       Proteaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Banksia aemula R.Br.
species         Banksia ashbyi E.G.
species         Banksia baueri R.Br.
species         Banksia baxteri R.Br.
species         Banksia blechnifolia F.Muell.
species         Banksia burdettii E.G.Baker
species         Banksia caleyi R.Br.
species         Banksia canei J.H.Willis
species         Banksia coccinea R.Br.
species         Banksia dryandroides Sweet
species         Banksia ericifolia L.f.
species         Banksia grandis Willd.
species         Banksia integrifolia L.f.
species         Banksia marginata Cav.
species         Banksia media R.Br.
species         Banksia meisneri Lehm.
species         Banksia menziesii R.Br.
species         Banksia oblongifolia Cav.
species         Banksia occidentalis R.Br.
species         Banksia paludosa R.Br.
species         Banksia praemorsa Andr.
species         Banksia prionotes Lindl.
species         Banksia robur Cav.
species         Banksia serrata L.f.
species         Banksia speciosa R.Br.
species         Banksia spinulosa Sm.