The Proteaceae

PLANT THURSDAY // Emily & Adam wrote this line “Do you remember the Big Bad Banksia Men from May Gibb’s Gumnut Baby stories?” and some of us have absolutely no idea what this means _ Are Big Bad Banksia Men scary plants?!

Turns out, this Banksia here is the plant they were based on. Banksias are part of the Proteacea a group of trees and shrubs native to Australia with a vital role in Australian plant ecology and bushfire regeneration.

The Proteaceae belong to an ancient group of flowering plants that evolved almost 100 million years ago on Gondwana. Banksia produce unique flowers which are very attractive to birds and honey possum, and the flowers were once used as paint brushes by Indigenous people.

Photo: Flickr/Salihan