The Banksia tree or woody shrub grows only in Western Australia and Papua New Guinea. I found my Banksia Seed Pod at a neighborhood grocery store in San Francisco! Gotta love this global economy. The Banksia produces a large fruit body or cone which remains after the flower blooms. The cone matures and seeds develop while still on the tree. It is usually the heat of a forest fire that causes the seed case holes to rupture and release their seeds, creating their unique appearance as blackened seed pod lips.
Artist Stacey Rees lives in The Grampians, Victoria, Australia where she has first-hand access to native Banksia stems to inspire her illustrations and paintings. Stacey Rees sells this illustration and other work here on Etsy.
Woodworker Russell Haidet designs these unusual teleidoscope (a kind of kaleidoscope) from mature Banksia cones and sells them here on Etsy.