Some time ago I mentioned the Grevilleas that were growing in our area.Another member of the Proteaceae family is the Banksia, named after the botanist Sir Joseph Banks who accompanied Captain James Cook on the first European exploration of the east coast of Australia back in 1770.
Australia wide there are 73 species but only 15 on the east coast. The rest are in south west Western Australia and are by far the most spectacular. Cultivation of the latter in the east is difficult as they have problems adapting to the naturally acidic soils compared to the alkaline ones of their natural habitat.
The plants range from ground covers to shrubs to large trees. Leaf shape is extremely variable as is flower shape and colour. The remaining seed case is also an attractive feature.
We have about half a dozen species growing wild in the bush around us as well as on the beach front.
Autumn and winter are the seasons the flowers are at their best.