banksia

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banksia Any of c.70 species of flowering shrubs and small trees found in Australia and New Guinea that belong to the genus Banksia. Their evergreen leaves are long and leathery, and they bear tube-shaped heads of yellowish or reddish flowers. Sir Joseph Banks discovered the genus in 1770. Most banksias are pollinated by birds, but some are pollinated by the honey possum, a small, mouse-like marsupial that feeds on their nectar and pollen. Family Proteaceae.

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Banksia (family Proteaceae) A genus of shrubs and small trees, whose inflorescences are dense, stout, showy spikes of up to 1000 flowers, developing into woody cones of follicles, plus bracts and bracteoles. There are 71 species, which are quintessentially Australian.

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banksia (băngk´sēə) [for Sir Joseph Banks], popularized name of a genus of Australian evergreen trees and shrubs of the same family as the macadamia and sometimes cultivated in America. Banksias are also called honeysuckle trees or Australian honeysuckle. Banksia is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Proteales, family Proteaceae.