Parrot Bush

Parrot Bush is a beautiful plant flowering now in bushland across Perth. I always think the flowers seem like they open with a loud pop! This prickly shrub grows as far north as Geraldton and into the southwest to Albany.

Banksia sessilis

Scientific name Banksia sessilis formerly Dryandra sessilis

Common name Parrot Bush, Boojak

Flower April – November

Banksia sessilis flower

Seed pod beak-shaped capsule that splits to release two winged black seeds [1]

Associated wildlife provides pollen and nectar for insects and birds. The prickly branches provide nesting cover for small birds such as singing and brown honeyeaters. Carnaby’s black cockatoo and 28 parrots feed on seeds. [2]

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo feeding on parrot bush by Paul Schipper on Flickr

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo feeding on Parrot Bush by Paul Schipper on Flickr

Flowers for much of the year, thus providing nectar for a long period. [1] This plant (below) in Hepburn Heights Conservation Area was covered in insects feeding.

insects drink nectar

Growth habit upright shrub to 5m. Killed by fire, but seedlings germinate following fire and grow rapidly. [2]

Banksia sessilis

Variation There are four varieties and two occur in the Perth region.The coastal form (var. cygnorum) has smaller leaves that are more fan shaped and greener than the Darling Range form (var. sessilis). [2] All these photos are of the coastal form.

Cultivation Grow as a hedge or cluster of plants for a prickly garden screen and to provide food for Carnaby’s cockatoos. [1]

Florabase record

Photo credit Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo feeding on Parrot Bush by Paul Schipper on Flickr. Other photos by Clare Snow.


  1. Dixon, Kingsley (2011) Coastal Plants: A guide to the identification and restoration of plants of the Perth region. Collingwood, Vic: CSIRO Publishing
  2. Powell, Robert (2009) Leaf and Branch: Trees and Tall Shrubs of Perth. 2nd ed. Perth: DEC


One thought on “Parrot Bush

  1. Hi Clare, I’m trying to get in touch with you about a photo of yours. I’m editor of a nature magazine. Could you either check your Flickr email or email me please. Many thanks. Carol

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s