B._integ_flrs.JPG (36078 bytes)Banksia integrifolia: Australia is the home of banksias. About 71 species are endemic and one species is found in New Guinea. The majority of banksias come from Western Australia, one from the Northern territory and about a dozen species call the east coast home.  Banksia integrifolia is a common species along the east coast and ranges and usually develops into a tall shrub or small tree. In some sheltered areas the plants will reach a height of 25 metres (75 feet). There is also a ground covering form, which grows on exposed coastal headlands. The stiff leathery leaves are dark green on the upper surface and the lower surface has a silvery appearance. The flower heads are composed of hundreds of individual flowers that are pale yellow and rich in nectar. Flowering takes place in autumn and winter. Each flower head may reach a length of 15 centimetres (6 inches). The flowers are followed by woody cone that contain many follicles (dry fruits). The follicles contain a woody divider, one infertile seed and one winged fertile seed. Most banksias have persistent follicles, which only open when the plant is damaged by fire. Banksia integrifolia follicles open at maturity. Seedlings are common around mature plants. Three sub-species are recognized. The species propagates readily from seeds.