views updated May 29 2018

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.


views updated Jun 11 2018

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.