Waratah

Telopia speciosissima

“A magnificent flower long valued for its exceptional beauty” NPOS p. 104

Everyone knows the waratah, it’s big, voluminous and deep red in colour, it can’t be missed or mistaken for anything else. The Waratah is the state flower of NSW and narrowly missed out on being chosen as Australia’s national flower. Golden Wattle only became the official national flower in 1988!

The botanist R.T. Baker was a vocal advocate of the waratah arguing that it alone was unique to Australia, whereas, “in the wattle, Australia has not a monopoly like the waratah, for Africa has over one hundred native wattles, and it also occurs in America, East and West Indies and the Islands.”

The only Waratahs I’ve seen in the wild have been at Muogamarra. They are found dotted about the coast of southeast Australia, with a larger concentration centered on the sydney basin and surrounds. The Waratah grows in rocky places in woodland on sandstone.  Flowering time is September to October.

The magnificent Waratah. I came across this while walking with the family at Muogamarra Nature reserve. It was a popular plant, I had to wait my turn to take a photo.
We only saw the one Waratah, it was shorter than I was expecting in person.

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