Banksias are a part of the Proteaceae Family, with different species native to different areas of Australia’s scrubby bushland. The Banksia was named after Joseph Banks, who found many species of the plant on Captain Cook’s famous voyage to Australia. Some of the main species grown for florists are the scarlet Coccinea, knotty wooden Serrata Old-Man, furry yellow Possum, golden Speciosa, orange Hookeriana and the yellow-red Firewheel Menziesii. Each banskia grows on its’ own branch, has spiky long green leaves, and forms a cone-shaped head of hundreds of flowers that will slowly ‘fluff’ open from the base upwards.
The Banskia is grown for the cut flower industry in fields in South and Western Australia, as well as in Hawaii and Israel. Banksias have a long life once cut, and can also be dried. Most florists use Banksias for unusual or native Australian arrangements, because of their natural colours and the large variety of shapes and textures available with the Banskia. Banksias also produce masses of nectar, making them useful for beekeepers.