Even though I have been mainly focusing on Eucalyptus trees (gum trees) in recent months I always love walking past a Banksia tree. Last week I noticed that a Banksia Serrata (Old Man Banksia) tree at the Barrakee Picnic Area in Lane Cove National Park is now flowering with beautiful greyish/cream flowers.
I also noticed that some of its leaves were yellow. Not all the leaves were turning yellow – just a few of them were. BTW these serrated Serrata leaves have a great shape but hard to draw when I’m tired late at night! 🙂
Seeing a banksia tree like this one normally makes me think of the Big Bad Banksia Men from May Gibbs’ books (see here) especially when the seed pods are visible in the old flowers. Last week I did some research and discovered that not all the flowers are pollinated so not all develop these seed pods.
I also realised that the banksia cone that I picked up a few weeks ago at a different location might be Banksia Integrifolia. I thought all banksia flowers eventually turned into cones like this one but maybe they don’t.
Anyway, I’m going to start observing this tree more carefully over the next few months and of course do some more sketching and research!