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Blue Mountains Wildflowers
Banksias & Grevilleas
and other members of the Proteaceae family

Mountain Devil Mountain Devil
Family Proteaceae

Although the Family Proteaceae is "only" the fifth largest of the Australia flora in terms of the number of species, it boasts some of the most popular and well known - including the Waratah and Old Man Banksia.

The Grevillea genus, with over 350 species, is the third largest genus - after Acacia and Eucalyptus.

Many of the species below are very prolific in the Blue Mountains.

Index to our collection -

Banksias
Banksia cunninghamii
Fern-leaved Banksia
Hairpin Banksia
Heath Banksia
Newnes Plateau Banksia
Old Man Banksia
Silver Banksia
Swamp Banksia
White Mountain Banksia

Geebungs
Broad-leaved Geebung
Lance Leaf Geebung
Laurel-leaf Geebung
Mossy Geebung
Mountain Geebung
Narrow-leaved Geebung
Needle Geebung
Persoonia recedens
Soft Geebung
Grevilleas
Bog Grevillea
Evans Grevillea
Green Spider Flower
Grevillea aspleniifolia
Grey Spider Flower
Juniper Grevillea
Laurel-leaf Grevillea
Pink Spider Flower
Rosemary Grevillea
Red Spider Flower
Woolly Grevillea

Hakeas
Dagger Hakea
Ernie Constable's Hakea
Finger Hakea
Hakea laevipes
Hakea pachyphylla
Willow-leaved Hakea
Drumsticks &
Conesticks

Broad-leaf Drumsticks
Conesticks
Stalked Conesticks

Other genera
Crinkle Bush
Long Leaf Smoke Bush
Mountain Devil
Mountain Symphionema
NSW Waratah
Sprawling Smoke-bush
Variable Smoke-bush
Woody Pear

Banksias - also see our Banksias web page.

There are ten Banksia species in the Blue Mountains - here's nine of them.

The tenth, the Hill Banksia (Banksia collina), if it occurs, currently eludes me.

Banksia hooked styles Banksia hooked styles
Banksias vary within a species and hybrids can occur.

The first lesson is to disregard juvenile leaves - as they can be vastly different to the mature leaves used to identify plants - as this image of the seedlings of a Heath Banksia shows.

To assist in identification, the Banksias below are grouped into key identifiers.

Styles hooked.

The leaves distinguish these three from each other. The leaves of the missing Hill Banksia (Banksia collina) are toothed for most of their length, and lateral veins are evident underneath.

Heath Banksia
Heath Banksia

Banksia ericifolia
A tall dense shrub to small tree; it has orange candle like cones in Autumn.
Its 10-15mm long rosemary like leaves identify it.
Also see our Heath Banksia web page.
Hairpin Banksia
Hairpin Banksia

Banksia spinulosa
A small multi-stemmed shrub usually less than 2 metres in height.
Its recurved 2mm wide leaves identify it. The leaves tend to be clustered at the end of branches and point upwards like fingers on a hand.
Here's another image and another.
Banksia cunninghamii
Banksia cunninghamii


Until recently it was known as Banksia spinulosa var. cunninghamii.
A single stemmed tree up to 6m in height. Its 5mm wide leaves radiate from its branches, and are reasonably flat and are toothed towards the end.
Styles not hooked; leaves in regular whorls.

Straightish styles and leaves in regular whorls distinguish these three from other Blue Mountains banksias. The three species are uncommon.

The leaves of the Swamp Banksia and Newnes Plateau Banksia help to distinguish them from each other. Note the difference in the number of teeth, lateral veins, how the leaves taper and the hairs.

It is appropriate to mention that the Coast Banksia (Banksia integrifolia subsp. integrifolia) does not occur naturally in the Blue Mountains - but has been introduced. There's a few at Echo Point (Katoomba) and some magnificent mature trees at Bullaburra Station.

Swamp Banksia
Swamp Banksia

Banksia paludosa
subsp. paludosa
A small shrub to 2m, its whorls of leaves and leaves themselves help identify it.
White Mountain Banksia
White Mountain Banksia

Banksia integrifolia
subsp. monticola
A tall leggy tree to 25m that grows in forests on soils derived from igneous rocks - such as at Mt. Wilson.
Its whorls of leaves, leaves themselves and small light yellow cone help identify it.
Here's another image.
Newnes Plateau Banksia
Newnes Plateau Banksia

Banksia penicillata
A large shrub to 4m in height, its whorls of leaves and leaves themselves help identify it.
Here's a great image of its cone.
Here's another image and another.
Styles not hooked; leaves scattered along stems.
Silver Banksia
Silver Banksia

Banksia marginata
It gets its name from the underside of its leaves which are white and shine in the sun.
Here's another image and another.
Also see our Silver Banksia web page.
Old Man Banksia
Old Man Banksia

Banksia serrata
My favourite plant.
Its distinctive cream cones in late summer with serrated leaves - all growing on a wonderfully gnarled tree identifies it.
Here he is covered in dew.
Also see our Old Man Banksia web page.
Fern-leaved Banksia
Fern-leaved Banksia

Banksia oblongifolia
Once you see its straight styles and scattered leaves, the under surface of its 7cm long leaves nails it.
It's a 2-3m high scrub.
Also see our Fern-leaved Banksia web page.
Grevilleas - also see our Spider Flowers web page.

Bog Grevillea
Bog Grevillea

Grevillea acanthifolia
subsp. acanthifolia
This distinctive toothed grevillea with its red branches, flowers in swamps in spring.
Here's another image.
[Note: The name "Bog Grevillea" is not widely used.]
Laurel-leaf Grevillea
Laurel-leaf Grevillea

Grevillea laurifolia
This stunning crimson ground-cover has a natural occurring hybrid with Grevillea acanthifolia (see left) that is known as Grevillea x gaudichaudii.
Pink Spider Flower
Pink Spider Flower

Grevillea sericea
This delightful scrub (to 2 metres) produces vibrant pink flowers in spring.
Also see our Spider Flowers web page.
Grey Spider Flower
Grey Spider Flower

Grevillea phylicoides
Distinguished from the other Grey Spider Flowers (G. buxifolia) by its narrower and very hairy leaves, and at 20mm wide its flowers are half the size.
It also lacks the little appendage at the end of its legs (styles). The foot-like pads at the end of the style are greeny-grey, where the (G. buxifolia)'s are a reddy-brown grey.
Here's another image.
Juniper Grevillea
Juniper Grevillea

Grevillea juniperina
Also called the Spiky Red Spider Flower.
There are seven identified subspecies; the one shown here is most probably ssp. trinervis - identified by its Blue Mountains location, its red colour and the width of its leaves - > 1mm.
Green Spider Flower
Green Spider Flower

Grevillea mucronulata
Suspended on a stalk and looking much like a spider hanging by its silk thread, it is easy to see where this delightful wildflower gets its name.
The flower is around 60mm across.
The oval concave leaves are 15mm long and 10mm wide and are hairy underneath.
The botanical name comes from the mucro (leaf tip).
Here's another image.
Rosemary Grevillea
Grevillea aspleniifolia


Its toothbrush-like flower and jagged leaves identifies it. This plant was found in the Kedumba Valley.
Rosemary Grevillea
Rosemary Grevillea

Grevillea rosmarinifolia
Identified by its Rosemary like narrow recurved leaves.
Woolly Grevillea
Woolly Grevillea

Grevillea lanigera
Its name identifies it - woolly leaves and style. It flowers in spring.
Evans Grevillea
Evans Grevillea

Grevillea evansiana
Classed as vulnerable, it is only found in an area east of Rylstone.
It is identified by its "felty" leaves and crimson flowers.
This plant was found in Wollemi National Park.   Here's another image.
Red Spider Flower
Red Spider Flower

Grevillea oleoides
Yet another stunning member of the Proteaceae family.
Previously a subspecies of G. speciosa, its leaves are longer - > 4cm.
Here's another image and another.
Geebungs - the Persoonia genus
Mossy Geebung fruit
There are about 100 species of Geebung - all endemic to Australia.

There are 49 species in NSW of which 16 are in the Blue Mountains.

Their distinctive bright yellow flowers in summer and fruit (drupes) distinguishes them from any other genus.

They are known to hybridize, so identifying a species by an amateur botanist (namely me) is not certain.

The word Geebung has been long immortalised in Banjo Paterson's poem The Geebung Polo Club.

Broad-leaved Geebung
Broad-leaved Geebung

Persoonia levis
One of the more easily identified Geebungs - as its broad leaves and flaky bark are the keys.
Here's an image of its new growth.
Here's another image of its flowers.
Narrow-leaved Geebung
Narrow-leaved Geebung

Persoonia linearis
The other Geebung with flaky bark is the Narrow-leaved Geebung. Its leaves are very long (up to 80mm) and are usually just 2mm wide.
Here's another image.
Mountain Geebung
Mountain Geebung

Persoonia chamaepitys
This is a prostrate geebung. Its light green pine-like leaves identifies it.
Persoonia recedens
Persoonia recedens


Its 20mm long flat leaves, that are up to 4mm wide, helps to identify it.
It is a threatened species, and is mainly found in the upper Blue Mountains.
Soft Geebung image pc290415
Soft Geebung

Persoonia mollis subsp. mollis
Its very hairy leaves, branches and tepals (outer covering of the flower) are the first thing you notice about this attractive plant.
There are nine subspecies - but this is the one most frequently found in the upper Blue Mountains.
Here's a close-up image.
Mossy Geebung
Mossy Geebung

Persoonia acerosa
This is a threatened species and is classed as vulnerable.
It can be identified by the channel on the upper surface of its leaves - which are around 15mm in length.
[I noticed that one of the flowers in the above image has unfurled into 5 parts.]
[I thought that this may have been P. hindii, but the helpful folk at the Royal Botanic Gardens have confirmed it as P. acerosa.]
Lance Leaf Geebung
Lance Leaf Geebung

Persoonia lanceolata
The leaves on this geebung tree are 65-70mm long, 15mm wide and are concolourous (same colour on both sides).
The pedicel (flower stalk) is 3mm long and the unfurled tepal (outer surface of flower) is 11mm long.
Here's another image.
Laurel-leaf Geebung
Laurel-leaf Geebung

Persoonia laurina subsp. laurina
Identified by the rusty brown hairs on the outer layer of its flowers (the tepals).
There are three subspecies. Subsp. laurina has smooth leaves.
Needle Geebung
Needle Geebung

Persoonia acerosa
This Geebung is classified as "vulnerable". It is identified by its needle like leaves which are "subterete" (cylinder-like) and have a channel on them.
Here's another image.

Hakeas
open Hakea fruit

There are about 150 species of Hakea - all endemic to Australia.

Their distinctive woody fruit (seed capsule) distinguishes them from other genera.

The fruit of the Hakea does not open until the branch supporting it dies.


Dagger Hakea
Dagger Hakea

Hakea teretifolia
Arguably the most prickly customer in the bush. Its leaves are hard and sharp. It's named after its distinctively shaped fruit. It has white flowers in summer.
Also called Needlebush.
Ernie Constable's Hakea
Ernie Constable's Hakea

Hakea constablei
Identified by its 10cm long terete leaves and 4cm+ fruit, this species is limited to the Blue Mountains.
Here's another image.
Hakea pachyphylla
Hakea pachyphylla


Only found in the upper Blue Mountains, Hakea pachyphylla is distinguished from H. propinqua by its yellow flowers, later flowering (spring) and smoother fruit.
Willow-leaved Hakea
Willow-leaved Hakea

Hakea salicifolia
Identified by its dull flat leaves that have obscure veins, and warty fruit that has an upturned beak.
Here's another image.
Finger Hakea
Finger Hakea

Hakea dactyloides
Flowering in spring, it is identified by its flat leaves that have three veins, its fruit with its small beak, and glabrous (hairless) branchlets.
Also called the Broad-leaved Hakea.
Similar to Hakea laevipes.
Hakea laevipes
Hakea laevipes

Although having leaves with three veins, it is distinguished from the Finger Hakea by its conspicuous secondary veins, its beakless fruit, and pubescent (hairy) branchlets.
It also flowers later than the Finger Hakea.
Being lignotuberous means that it may have multiple branches as the result of a bushfire.
Drumsticks & Conesticks - also see our Drumsticks & Conesticks web page.

Broad-leaf Drumsticks
Broad-leaf Drumsticks

Isopogon anemonifolius
The Drumstick's leaves become red in the cooler months, giving each flower a sensational red and green surround.
Conesticks
Conesticks

Petrophile pulchella
Although looking needle like, its leaf are soft. Its cones are more oval than the Drumstick.
Stalked Conesticks
Stalked Conesticks

Petrophile pedunculata
Where the leaves of the Conesticks generally all point upwards, the leaves of the Stalked Conesticks point every which way.
Other genera of the Proteaceae family.

NSW Waratah
NSW Waratah

Telopea speciosissima
The floral emblem of New South Wales.
The crimson flowers appear in spring and are 15cm in diameter. Truly magnificent.
Also see our NSW Waratah web page.
Mountain Devil
Mountain Devil

Lambertia formosa
Spot flowering throughout the year, but especially in the warmer months, its red flowers can be easily seen.
Also see our Mountain Devil web page.
Mountain Symphionema
Mountain Symphionema

Symphionema montanum
There are only two species in this genera - both endemic to NSW. It is identified by its "ternate" leaves (leaves divided into 3).
S. montanum has flatter leaves than S. paludosum and has a distinct mid-vein.
The name "Mountain Symphionema" is not widely used.
Variable Smoke-bush
Variable Smoke-bush

Conospermum taxifolium
The Conospermum flower identifies the genus - it has a three pronged bottom lip.
C. taxifolium is distinguished from C. ericifolium by its wider leaves - > 1mm.
Sprawling Smoke-bush
Sprawling Smoke-bush

Conospermum tenuifolium
The long stems emerge from, what looks like, a patch of long grass. The flowers are a lilac colour and appear in spring.
Crinkle Bush
Crinkle Bush

Lomatia silaifolia
This small shrub is recognised through the year by its unique leaves, and then in summer by its spikes of white flowers.
Woody Pear
Woody Pear

Xylomelum pyriforme
Easily recognised by its "fruit", the leaves are similar to the Waratah except the Woody Pear's are opposite on the stem.
Here's more images showing the flowers at various stages (different plants).
image 1  -  image 2  -  image 3
Long Leaf Smoke Bush
Long Leaf Smoke Bush

Conospermum longifolium
subsp. mediale
Recognised by its long strapping leaves which are up to 25cm in length.
Here's a close-up of its flowers.
This subspecies is mainly found in the Blue Mountains.
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