Saturday, August 15, 2009


On my way home from a lazy Saturday breakfast at a local cafe, I stopped at a park to draw. The park had a quite a few Banksia trees and all of them were full of flowers and cones, in each stage of growth. The flowers are at their peak just after stage 3 of my drawings. They have a full flower head that is yellow, pink, red or orange in colour, before dying off to stage 4

I had to go home and look up on the internet to find out more about them. I could not identify the particular species but I can tell you : The genus name honours the English botanist Sir Joseph Banks, who collected the first Banksia specimens in 1770, during James Cook's first expedition.Banksia belongs to the family Proteaceae, subfamily Grevilleoideae, and tribe Banksieae. There are around 170 species

The seed cones are referenced in the "big bad Banksia men" of May Gibbs' children's book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Gibb's "Banksia men" are modelled on the appearance of aged Banksia "cones", with follicles for eyes and other facial features

I stayed and drew for about an hour until the sun got too hot. It is a very warm winters day in Sydney.



  1. This is a wonderful study, Alissa! I love seeing this kind of progression, I think we learn so much...

  2. Banksias must look quite a sight, like maybe a big colourful lollypop tree?

  3. Your seed cones are awesome! Thank you for the well-rounded images; nnow i feel like I know this tree.

  4. What a wonderful find your blog is. I've linked our 'Australia' post back here - a perfect visual for 'Banksia Men' :-).


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