banksia photo banksia heading

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There are about 73 species of banksias in Australia. About 58 of them are native to the southwest of Western Australia. Banksias are also a bush food. You can suck the nectar out of flowers or soak the flowers in water to make a sweet drink. The sweet drink of the banksia flower is sometimes mixed with wattle gum. The Aborigines also make a weak form of alcohol, which is called 'bull' or 'bool' from the banksia, leaving the liquid to ferment. Bees, wasps and other insects like sucking the nectar from the banksia flowers. Honey eater birds and possums also like these flowers. The tree was named after a famous botanist's surname, Sir Joseph Banks. Banksias grow in sandy soils growing about 1.5 to 3 metres high and about three metres wide. The flowers are large, pale yellow or orange in colour. The length ranges from 10 to 30 cm and approximately 8cm in diameter. The flowers come out in spring or mid- summer.

banksia leaf


Scientific name for banksia species: 

banksia scientific name proteaceae


Did you know that you can make nectar blossom cordial?

  1. Pick banksia flowers and other nectar plant flowers which have lots of nectar inside.

  2. Soak the flowers in cold water for a few hours, put the soaking flowers in a fridge or a cool spot.

  3. Drain the sweet water for drinking.
  4. People say that this drink contains vitamin C and minerals.
  5. This drink can also be made into a jelly if you add gelatin.

cockie in a banksia tree photo
A pink and grey galah enjoying a rest in a banksia tree.

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© Copyright 2000 Teaching Treasures Publications