Banksia research and sketching

November 17, 2021 | 7 Comments

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!


  • I love your gift of noticing even the little things and sketching what you see!

  • Jamie C says:

    What a lovely and interesting tree! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Banksia before. I will have to look out for it the next time I go to the Australian forest area of the arboretum to see if they have one. Your flower and leaf drawings are really getting very accurate, too. I’ve always loved that nature field notes sketching!

  • Nadja Milsten says:

    I had never heard of Banksia before so I had to do some googling, you have so interesting flora and wildlife “down under”!

  • Janine Camm says:

    I like your sketches of the banksia. I love those trees but try NOT to think of the bad banksia men. The ‘cones’ are not true cones, as only conifers produce cones. The banksia have woody fruit to hold the seeds.

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