Beautiful and Redolent Flowers: Bloom 22

Photo: Phimphakan Lebel

No, this is not a plant ornamented with bottle brushes aimed at parodying a Christmas tree; though that would be an interesting statement to make against the extravagance of a holiday many use as an excuse to bedazzle an evergreen conifer with tinsel and gewgaws. But I digress. Returning to the matter, this is an Australian native flowering plant of the genus called Banksia; including over a hundred species, some trees others shrubs. Not all Banksias produce blooms that resemble a cleaning tool for tubular containers, to be sure, in fact some look more like toilet brushes. So saying, one cannot help but wonder if the Banksia flower could be used as a sustainable substitute for plastic brushes.

Shapes aside, the flowers are loaded with honeyed nectar and come in a variety of hues; from monochromatic orange gibbon to yellow bristles with Persian pink tip highlights. Indeed, the colors are loud and the smell great, contrived to attract specific nectarivores essential to its propagation via pollination. All in all, lovely brushes these Banksia flowers are.