Flower Power - Banksias
words & photography by Amy Truong
'Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul.'
- Thomas Merton
‘I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains.’ Yes, Banjo Patterson, I love Australia too. Our vast country has some of the most amazing environments to foster the most diverse and beautiful natural fauna in the world. From the tropical weather up north, to the dry centre and to the cooler south, Australian fauna is something that up until recently, we rarely celebrated.
But times are changing and we are finding Australian flowers slowly becoming a common staple in many local florists. One such option is the beautiful and abundant Banksia, a true native to Australia. I never used to quite notice the Banksia. It was always tucked into a little bucket, at the bottom shelf and in a corner. But going into spring, the colours and texture of this stunning local bloom has captured my attention and assuredly, that of many flower aficionados.
The soft, delicate petals are woolly yet silky to touch, which perhaps is the most unique characteristic of this flower. Low in pollen, it is a great option for those with hay fever, not uncommon when walking around town on a breezy spring day. A celebration of life and energy, the Banksia’s leaves create an uncultivated look which with its tree-like stem gives a long lasting, perennial offering compared to a regular flower.
With over 100 species alone, Banksias are commonly available in beautiful shades of orange, red, pinks and yellow. It truly is a flower that is iconic to this sunburnt land and one that is easy to fall in love with when paired with other Australian natives.