The Scarlet or Waratah Banksia is from Western Australia.
It is widely grown for the cut flower trade.
It is mostly seen as an erect shrub around 3 m high but can grow to an 8 m high tree.
There are no lignotubers and the smooth grey bark has no lenticels.
New growth is covered in a dense layer of hairs.
Leaves are from 3 to 9 cm long and 2 to 7 cm wide.
They are obcornate or oblong and on petioles a few mms long.
The marginal teeth are up to 3 mm long.
Young leaves are pink or greyish due to a dense layer of hairs.
Older leaves are dark green and smooth above but still pale and hairy underneath.
Inflorescences are cylindrical spikes up to 6 cm high and 10 cm wide.
Unlike other banksia species the flowers are arranged in vertical columns.
Gaps between the columns makes this arrangement very obvious.
The 4 grey-white tepals are 3 cm long with dense hairs on the outer surface.
The styles, around 4.5 cm long, are typically bright red but can be orange or rarely, yellow.
It is markedly curved until the tip is released from between the anthers in the tepal tips.
Fruit are up to 20 follicles mainly near the bottom of the spike.
They are small being only around 7 mm long and 2 mm high.
The winged seeds are separated from the follicle by a seed separator.