, commonly known as holly-leaved banksia
, is a tree in the family Proteaceae. Endemic to southwest Western Australia, it belongs to Banksia
, a subgenus of three closely related Banksia
species with inflorescences that are dome-shaped heads rather than characteristic Banksia
flower spikes. It is generally a tree up to 10 metres (33 ft) tall with a columnar or irregular habit. Both the scientific and common names arise from the similarity of its foliage to that of the English holly Ilex aquifolium
; the glossy green leaves generally have very prickly serrated margins, although some plants lack toothed leaves. The inflorescences are initially yellow but become red-tinged with maturity; this acts as a signal to alert birds that the flowers have opened and nectar is available.
Robert Brown described Banksia ilicifolia in 1810. Although Banksia ilicifolia is variable in growth form, with low coastal shrubby forms on the south coast near Albany, there are no recognised varieties as such. Distributed broadly, the species is restricted to sandy soils. Unlike its close relatives which are killed by fire and repopulate from seed, Banksia ilicifolia regenerates after bushfire by regrowing from epicormic buds under its bark. It is rarely cultivated.