Common name: Acorn Banksia

Family: PROTEACEAE

Banksia prionotes is a Western Australian native shrub or tree. Photo: D. Blumer.View image slideshow

Origin of Scientific Name

Banksia – After Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820), famous English botanist and naturalist with a prolific list of botanical discoveries credited to him.

prionotes – (Greek) prion – a saw, and otes – denoting quality; referring to the saw-like leaves.

Description

Banksia prionotes is a Western Australian native shrub or tree that occurs in sandy soils from Shark Bay in the north to Wagin in the south, with scattered populations further inland to Wongan Hills, Quairading and Newdegate.

The Acorn Banksia can grow to 10 metres; however, a dwarf shrub form as low as 1 metre occurs in northern coastal areas. It has smooth or horizontally grooved bark and long, skinny serrated leaves (saw-like).

Banksia prionotes produces large, bright flower spikes, initially white in bud before opening to a bright orange from February to August. Its common name arises from the partly opened inflorescence, which is shaped like an acorn. These magnificent flowers are unsurprisingly very popular in the cut flower industry. The plant is also a great choice for the home garden as it produces an eye-catching display that will also attract native birds.

Horticultural tips

  • Requires well-drained soil and full sun.
  • Not suited to humid areas.
  • Withstands moderate frosts and can handle some coastal exposure.
  • Regularly pick flowers to increase flowering and neaten shape.

For more horticultural tips view our Plant Notes section.

View in Kings Park

Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden to see Banksia prionotes in the Banksia garden beds in the Western Australian Botanic Garden, Saw Avenue Parkland gardens, Poorlgarla Family Area gardens and Kings Park bushland (refer to map).

Want more information?

Refer to the profile for this plant on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' FloraBase online herbarium.

Banksia prionotes growing in Kings Park. Photo: D. Blumer. The plant is highly attractive to native birds. Photo: D. Blumer. Acorn Banksia produces large, bright flower spikes shaped like an acorn. Photo: D. Blumer. 

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