Shrub to 3 m tall. Leaves alternate, linear, blunt, mostly 0.5-1 cm long, hairy below; margins curled under. Flower cone cylindrical, mostly 7-10 cm long, 6-7 cm wide. Perianth 2.5-3 cm long, golden yellow; Apr-July. Styles hooked, yellow, orange, or red to maroon. Fruits numerous,1-2.5 cm long. Syn. B. collina R. Br.
A variable species with a range of colour forms available in horticulture as well as dwarf and compact forms with differing flower colours. A yellow-styled form is sometimes called 'Golden Candlesticks'; others include 'Carnarvon Gold', 'Coastal Cushion' and the dwarf 'Black Magic'.
var. collina (R. Br.) A.S. George, Hill Banksia, from Nambour in Qld to the Hawkesbury River in NSW has lignotubers and leaves linear to narrowly obovate with margins saw-toothed, curled under and with prominent lateral veins.
var. cunninghamii (Rchb.) A.S. George, Cunningham's Banksia, from SE Qld to near Melbourne grows to 7 m or so tall with no lignotuber and with pale brown hair on lower leaf surface.
Qld, NSW, Vic.
B. ericifolia has shorter, narrower leaves with 3 terminal teeth while B. occidentalis has whorled leaves.
Source: (2002). Proteaceae. In: . 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.