Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Big, Bad Banksia Man

The Big, Bad Banksia Man is a charachter from an Australian children's story called "Snugglepot and Cuddlepie" by May Gibb. It is an old story as I remember reading it as a child but it is still in the stores today. I saw this Banksia Man in my garden today. Use your imagination and you can see his mean eyes and a mouth near the top. It is actually the seed cone of a Banksia Tree. There are many different kinds with fancy botanical names which I don't know.

This is how they look before becoming a Big Bad Banksia Man.

They start as a new cone and then develop a loopy, hook shaped petal (It probably has a proper name for these hair like structures)

See the looped, closed hooks?

Then they start to open. The one above has half open at the top and half closed at the bottom.

This one has them all open.

This tree has reddy, orange ones.

This tree has yellow ones.

Closed hooks

Open hooks.

I think they are beautiful but then they turn into the ugly Banksia Man.


  1. That's a pretty cool plant. I want one. I'm having a hard time seeing the face. I'll stick with it.

  2. Wow Diane, they do start out pretty to turn so ugly later. I have never heard of one of these. Thanks for sharing. And I do see that face too.

    Tell BB happy father's day from all of us please.

  3. Lovely native is a banksia. I remember coming down the west coast of Australia and seeing them growing on the side of the road. I must hunt for the photos of them.

  4. I guess we cant all be beautiful all of the time huh?

  5. Such an interesting flower! You know I have never noticed how they open, and I sure didn't know that the Big Bad Banksia man started life out as a pretty flower! You learn something every day!
    Thanks Mum