a friendly ‘banksia’ man

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Most Australians who grew up in the 60s are familiar with the May Gibbs stories about Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, two little gum nuts that have adventures in the Australian bush, helped by lizards, birds, possums and other native animals. The bad guys were ‘the bad bad banksia men’ modelled after the cones that are left once the banksia flower stems have fallen out and the cones have hardened. There are 76 banksia species and the banksia is named after Sir Joseph Banks, a naturalist who travelled to Australia with Captain James Cook. If you are familiar with the banksia tree it is easy to see where Gibbs got the inspiration for the bad bad banksia men as they mostly look kind of wicked.. but there are friendly and jovial ‘banksia men’ to be found, like this little guy that I spotted at North Head, Manly, Sydney on a recent trip.

4 thoughts on “a friendly ‘banksia’ man

    Maureen Sudlow said:
    April 21, 2016 at 8:41 am

    always loved these Banksia cones

    plaidcamper said:
    April 20, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Great story – never heard of them before!

      margosnotebook responded:
      April 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Its a great book… children love it.

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