banksia man

banksia man
The large woody cone of several Banksia species, originally as a character in children's stories. Banksia is the name of an Australian genus of shrubs and trees with about 60 species. It was named after the botanist Sir Joseph Banks, who was on the Endeavour with James Cook on his voyage of discovery in 1770. After flowering, many banksias form thick woody cones, often in strange shapes. It was on such grotesque shapes that May Gibbs modelled her banksia men in Snugglepot and Cuddlepie of 1918: 'She could see the glistening, wicked eyes of Mrs. Snake and the bushy heads of the bad Banksia men'.

Australian idioms. 2014.

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  • banksia man — /ˈbæŋksiə mæn/ (say bangkseeuh man) noun an imaginary evil character in the bush, a personification of the large woody cones of the banksia. {from the banksia men, the evil characters in various children s books written by May Gibbs} …  

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  • May Gibbs — 1916 photographic portrait Born 17 January 1877 Surrey, England Died 27 November 1969 Occupation …   Wikipedia

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