Banksia ilicifoliaCommon name: Holly Leaf Banksia

Meaning of name: Banksia is named after Sir Joseph Banks (1743 – 1820) who collected the first specimens of the genus during Captain Cook’s voyage in 1770. Ilicifolia is named after the genus Ilex, which is holly, and the Latin word folium, meaning leaf. It refers to the holly-like leaves.

Distribution: Occurs on the Coastal Plain from Jurien Bay to Albany.

Description: A tree to 10 metres tall. The leaves are shaped like that of holly. Flowering heads open cream coloured but age to deep red. Flowers are found throughout the year with a peak in early summer.

Notes: The flowers change colour with age as an aid to pollination. The red flowers can be seen at a distance and so attract birds and insects. Yet only the paler flowers supply nectar and pollen. These are also the only flowers receptive to pollination. By letting the pollinators know where the most nectar and pollen is, the flowers increase their chances of being pollinated.

References: Western Australian Plant Names and their Meanings, a Glossary. FA Sharp. 1996.
Flora of the Perth Region. NG Marchant, JR Wheeler, BL Rye, EM Bennett, NS Lander, TD Macfarlane. 1987.
Leaf & Branch, Trees and Tall Shrubs of Perth. Robert Powell. 1990