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Proteales Collection

Proteales, a fascinating order of flowering plants, encompasses a diverse range of species that captivate with their unique beauty and adaptability

Background imageProteales Collection: Banksia integrifolia, coastal banksia

Banksia integrifolia, coastal banksia
Finished watercolour by Sydney Parkinson made during Captain James Cooks first voyage across the Pacific, 1768-1771

Background imageProteales Collection: Telopea speciosissima, waratah

Telopea speciosissima, waratah
Drawing 432 from the Watling Collection by Port Jackson Painter, 1788-1797. Illustration entitled Warratta

Background imageProteales Collection: Protea cynaroides, king protea

Protea cynaroides, king protea
Painting by Stephan Endlicher from Catalogus Horti Academici Vindobonensis pub.1842

Background imageProteales Collection: Banksia coccinea, scarlet banksia

Banksia coccinea, scarlet banksia
Plate 139 from Botanical Drawings from Australia (1801) by Ferdinand L Bauer (1760-1826)

Background imageProteales Collection: Protea nitida, wagon tree

Protea nitida, wagon tree
Plate 85 from Delineation of exotic plants cultivated in the Royal Garden at Kew (1796) by Franz Andreas Bauer (1758-1840). Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageProteales Collection: Banksia serrata, old man banksia

Banksia serrata, old man banksia
Finished watercolour by John Frederick Miller from an original outline drawing by Sydney Parkinson made during Captain James Cooks first voyage across the Pacific, 1768-1771

Background imageProteales Collection: Lambertia formosa, honey flower

Lambertia formosa, honey flower
Finished watercolour by John Frederick Miller from an original outline drawing by Sydney Parkinson made during Captain James Cooks first voyage across the Pacific, 1768-1771

Background imageProteales Collection: Banksia speciosa, showy banksia

Banksia speciosa, showy banksia
Plate 140 from Botanical Drawings from Australia (1801) by Ferdinand L Bauer (1760-1826)

Background imageProteales Collection: Lambertia formosa, mountain devil

Lambertia formosa, mountain devil
Engraving by Daniel Mackenzie from a drawing by Ferdinand Bauer, made in 1796, from herbarium material sent to Lambert by Henry de Ponthieu from the West Indies

Background imageProteales Collection: Indian lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) flowers, Melbourne Botanic garden, Victoria, Australia

Indian lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) flowers, Melbourne Botanic garden, Victoria, Australia

Background imageProteales Collection: Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) flowering in Puzhehai Lake with peaks in background

Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) flowering in Puzhehai Lake with peaks in background. Puzhehei National Wetland Park, Yunnan Province, China. 2009

Background imageProteales Collection: Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) in flower in botanic garden, Vendee, France, July

Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) in flower in botanic garden, Vendee, France, July

Background imageProteales Collection: Mountain needlebush (Hakea lissosperma). Tasmania, Australia. November

Mountain needlebush (Hakea lissosperma). Tasmania, Australia. November

Background imageProteales Collection: Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Charles Thomas ) flower. Cultivated in glasshouse

Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Charles Thomas ) flower. Cultivated in glasshouse, Surrey, England, UK

Background imageProteales Collection: Southern double-collared sunbird (Cinnyris chalybeus), male nectaring on Pincushion protea

Southern double-collared sunbird (Cinnyris chalybeus), male nectaring on Pincushion protea (Leucospermum cordifolium). Cape, South Africa. August

Background imageProteales Collection: Red wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) nectaring on Grevillea (Grevillea preissii)

Red wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) nectaring on Grevillea (Grevillea preissii). Western Australia Botanic Garden, Kings Park, Perth, Australia. November

Background imageProteales Collection: Malachite sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) male nectaring on King protea (Protea cynaroides)

Malachite sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) male nectaring on King protea (Protea cynaroides). Cape Province, South Africa. August

Background imageProteales Collection: Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) seeds embedded in pits in fleshy receptacle. Seeds

Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) seeds embedded in pits in fleshy receptacle. Seeds and rice are made into porridge. Puzhehei National Wetland Park, Yunnan Province, China

Background imageProteales Collection: Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) taken with infra-red thermograph camera

Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) taken with infra-red thermograph camera. Top of receptacle hottest at 35'C, stamens 30'C. Cultivated in glasshouse, Surrey, England, UK. Sequence 2/2

Background imageProteales Collection: Oreocallis grandiflora (Proteaceae family), Manu Cloud forest at 3500 metres altitude, Peru

Oreocallis grandiflora (Proteaceae family), Manu Cloud forest at 3500 metres altitude, Peru. November

Background imageProteales Collection: Eastern spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) male visiting Grevillea flower

Eastern spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) male visiting Grevillea flower, small honeyeater found in forests, woodlands and gardens in Eastern Australia, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Background imageProteales Collection: Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) in visible light. Cultivated in glasshouse, Surrey, England, UK

Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) in visible light. Cultivated in glasshouse, Surrey, England, UK. Sequence 1/2

Background imageProteales Collection: Raindrops on Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) lily pad

Raindrops on Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) lily pad. Micro nanostructures create an ultrahydrophobic surface so water slides off leaf. Puzhehai National Wetland Park, Yunnan Province, China

Background imageProteales Collection: Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) flower with circular receptacle with raised stigmas

Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) flower with circular receptacle with raised stigmas surrounded by stamens. Puzhehei National Wetland Park, Yunnan Province, China

Background imageProteales Collection: Wetland with cultivated areas of rice, Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) and other crops

Wetland with cultivated areas of rice, Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) and other crops. Peaks in background, view from Jade Dragon Peak. Puzhehei National Wetland Park, Yunnan Province, China, 2009

Background imageProteales Collection: Fossil leaf C016 / 5959

Fossil leaf C016 / 5959
Fossil Credneria denticulata leaf. This Cretaceous fossil leaf was found in the Czech Republic. Specimen held at the Natural History Museum, London, UK

Background imageProteales Collection: Franklandia fucifolia, artwork C016 / 5645

Franklandia fucifolia, artwork C016 / 5645
Franklandia fucifolia. Proof etching by I. Pye (based on Ferdinand Bauers drawing) prepared for A voyage to Terra Australis (1814) by Matthew Flinders

Background imageProteales Collection: Credneria triacuminata, leaf fossil C016 / 4948

Credneria triacuminata, leaf fossil C016 / 4948
Credneria triacuminata, leaf fossil. Large leaves are indicative of humid tropical climates. This specimen is approximately 17 centimetres across

Background imageProteales Collection: Platanus x hispanica, London plane leaves

Platanus x hispanica, London plane leaves
London plane leaves fallen in the Natural History Museum Wildlife Garden. Photo taken on November 1997 by Sue Snell

Background imageProteales Collection: Banksia spinulosa, hairpin banksia

Banksia spinulosa, hairpin banksia
Drawing 415 from the Watling Collection by Port Jackson Painter, 1788-1797. Illustration entitled Wallangre

Background imageProteales Collection: Nelumbo nucifera, sacred lotus

Nelumbo nucifera, sacred lotus
Plate 45 from the John Reeves Collection of Botanical Drawings from Canton, China. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageProteales Collection: Platanus latifolia, fossil plane tree leaf

Platanus latifolia, fossil plane tree leaf from the Upper Cretaceous from Greenland. Specimen 170 mms left to right

Background imageProteales Collection: Knightia excelsa, rewarewa honeysuckle tree

Knightia excelsa, rewarewa honeysuckle tree
Finished watercolour by Sydney Parkinson made during Captain James Cooks first voyage across the Pacific, 1768-1771. Illlustration annotated Brabejum sparsum

Background imageProteales Collection: Isopogon anethifolius, narrow leaf drumstick

Isopogon anethifolius, narrow leaf drumstick
Finished watercolour by Fred Polydore Nodder from an original outine drawing by Sydney Parkinson made during Captain James Cooks first voyage across the Pacific, 1768-1771

Background imageProteales Collection: Persoonia lanceolata, lance leaf geebung

Persoonia lanceolata, lance leaf geebung
Finished watercolour by James Miller from an original outline drawing by Sydney Parkinson made during Captain James Cooks first voyage across the Pacific, 1768-1771

Background imageProteales Collection: Banksia serrata

Banksia serrata

Background imageProteales Collection: Grevillea banksii, red silky oak

Grevillea banksii, red silky oak
Plate 132 from Botanical Drawings from Australia (1801) by Ferdinand L Bauer (1760-1826)

Background imageProteales Collection: Xylomelum pyriforme, woody pear

Xylomelum pyriforme, woody pear
Finished watercolour by John Frederick Miller from an original outline drawing by Sydney Parkinson made during Captain James Cooks first voyage across the Pacific, 1768-1771. Alecto edition

Background imageProteales Collection: Nelumbo sp. lotus

Nelumbo sp. lotus
Illustration of lotus (Nelumba sp.) by Sydney Parkinson

Background imageProteales Collection: Banksia baueri, woolly banksia

Banksia baueri, woolly banksia
Lithograph by Anton Hartinger (1806-1890) from his Paradisus Vindobonensis (1846). Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageProteales Collection: Franklandia fucifolia

Franklandia fucifolia
Proof etching by I. Pye based on Ferdinand Bauers drawing prepared for A voyage to Terra Australis (1814) by Matthew Flinders

Background imageProteales Collection: Nelumbo nucifera, sacred lotus

Nelumbo nucifera, sacred lotus
A drawing by Paul Hermann from the collection of five volumes of specimens and drawings from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) 1672-1677. (Vol. 5 Page 286)

Background imageProteales Collection: Credneria denticulata

Credneria denticulata
Cretaceous fossil leaf from Czech Republic. Specimen held at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageProteales Collection: Knightia excelsa, rewarewa

Knightia excelsa, rewarewa
Engraving after original drawing by Ferdinand Bauer from Transactions of the Linnean Society Vol. 10, Tab 2. P.194

Background imageProteales Collection: Protea burchellii, Burchells protea

Protea burchellii, Burchells protea
Plate 86 from Delineation of exotic plants cultivated in the Royal Garden at Kew (1796) by Franz Andreas Bauer (1758-1840). Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageProteales Collection: A species of Banksia

A species of Banksia
Drawing 430 from the Watling Collection by Thomas Watling, 1792-1797. Illustration entitled a Banksia

Background imageProteales Collection: Banksia sp

Banksia sp
Drawing 417 from the Watling Collection by Port Jackson Painter, 1788-1797. Illustration entitled Honey Tree of New South Wales, native name Wattang-ree

Background imageProteales Collection: Aleurites moluccana, candlenut tree

Aleurites moluccana, candlenut tree
Copper plate of Aleurites moluccana, candlenut tree from the original drawing by Sydney Parkinson made during Captain James Cooks first voyage across the Pacific, 1768-1771



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Proteales, a fascinating order of flowering plants, encompasses a diverse range of species that captivate with their unique beauty and adaptability. From the striking Banksia integrifolia, also known as coastal banksia, which thrives along sandy shores to Telopea speciosissima or waratah, an iconic Australian flower boasting vibrant crimson blooms. One cannot overlook the majestic Protea cynaroides, commonly referred to as king protea. With its large size and stunning pink petals surrounding a central cone-like structure, it truly reigns supreme in the floral kingdom. Equally enchanting is Banksia coccinea or scarlet banksia, displaying fiery red inflorescences that attract native birds and insects alike. Intriguingly named Protea nitida or wagon tree stands tall with its sturdy trunk resembling an old-fashioned cart wheel hub. Meanwhile, Banksia serrata aptly earns its nickname "old man banksia" due to its gnarled appearance reminiscent of wise elders. Adding further allure are flowers like Banksia speciosa showcasing intricate patterns on their showy cones and Lambertia formosa's honey flower exuding sweet nectar for pollinators. The latter also goes by mountain devil due to its spiky foliage adding a touch of wildness to any landscape. Xylomelum pyriforme or woody pear surprises with peculiar fruit resembling small wooden pears hanging from branches like ornaments on a tree. And even beyond Australia's borders lie the mesmerizing Indian lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) flowers at Melbourne Botanic Garden and sacred lotus blooming gracefully in Puzhehai Lake against breathtaking mountain peaks. The Proteales order showcases nature's endless creativity through these remarkable plant species. Their ability to thrive in various environments while offering captivating aesthetics serves as a reminder of our planet's incredible biodiversity worth preserving for generations to come.