Banksia > Banksia ashbyi | Banksia praemorsa | Banksia prionotes | Banksia quercifolia | Banksia serrata | Banksia spinulosa x ericifolia ◦

A widespread species through eastern Australia, the Banksia serrata, commonly known as the Saw Tooth Banksia or the Old Man Banksia, ages into an interesting gnarled tree that can grow up to 15 metres in height under the right conditions.

Banksia serrata (Saw Tooth Banksia / Old Man Banksia), Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden, Dee Why, NSW
Banksia serrata (Saw Tooth Banksia/Old Man Banksia), Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden, Dee Why, NSW

It has large leaves with toothed edges, and bears flower spikes that are usually cream coloured, about 120 mm long. The seed cones have long protruding follicles. The seedpods of the Banksia serrata persist on the tree almost indefinitely.

Banksia serrata (Saw Tooth Banksia / Old Man Banksia), Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden, Dee Why, NSW
Banksia serrata (Saw Tooth Banksia/Old Man Banksia), Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden, Dee Why, NSW

Flowering between December to June, Banksia serrata is a great bird attracting plant, that also attracts other wildlife. An excellent coastal plant and a great street tree in drier conditions, the Banksia serrata is also a good screening and feature tree.

Banksia serrata (Saw Tooth Banksia / Old Man Banksia), Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden, Dee Why, NSW
Banksia serrata (Saw Tooth Banksia/Old Man Banksia), Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden, Dee Why, NSW
Banksia serrata (Saw Tooth Banksia / Old Man Banksia), Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden, Dee Why, NSW
Banksia serrata (Saw Tooth Banksia/Old Man Banksia), Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden, Dee Why, NSW

In the following two images (courtesy of © Karlo Taliana), you can see the pollen presenter of the two species of banksias that aid in identification between the two banksia — Banksia serrata and Banksia aemula.

Many thanks Karlo Taliana for giving us permission to share his images.


Many thanks to the members of Banksia lovers group, in particular Phil Manley and Karlo Taliana for ID of this banksia. Special thanks to Karlo Taliana for the detailed identification of this banksia…

extract: The macro features look very much like serrata – broader leaves with wavy margins, deeper colour to centre of flowerhead (the latter never seen in B aemula). The longer and more narrow pollen presenters of Banksia serrata compared to Banksia aemula whose pollen presenters are shorter and club-shaped.

Karlo Taliana, Banksia lovers group, Facebook

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Order: Proteales
  • Family: Proteaceae
  • Genus: Banksia
  • Species: B. serrata
  • Binomial name: Banksia serrata

Footnote & References

  1. Banksia lovers group, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/16375693745/
  2. Banksia serrata, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banksia_serrata (last visited Dec. 8, 2021)
  3. Banksias – genus Banksia, Australian National Herbarium, https://www.anbg.gov.au/banksia/ – includes illustration of the various parts of the Banksia serrata