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New South Wales

Telopea speciosissima
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The NSW Waratah - isn't it magnificent!

It stands proudly as one of the most beautiful and majestic flowers in the world.

There are five species in the Telopea genera. They are the -

NSW Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)
Gibraltar Range Waratah (Telopea aspera)
Braidwood Waratah (Telopea mongaensis)
Gippsland Waratah (Telopea oreades)
Tasmanian Waratah (Telopea truncata).

Waratah is aboriginal for "beautiful"; Telopea is Greek for "seen from afar".

[The Dorrigo Waratah (Alloxylon pinnatum) belongs to the Alloxylon genera. Species of this genera being called the Queensland Waratah and the Tree Waratah.]

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The NSW Waratah grows to a height of 3 metres with leaves around 15cm in length. The crimson flowers are produced in early spring and have a diameter of 15cm.

The Waratah is indigenous to the Sydney region and may be found in its natural state from the NSW Central Coast down to Batemans Bay on the NSW South Coast, and to the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range.

In 1962, the NSW Waratah was proclaimed the floral emblem of New South Wales.

The following images show the bud to bloom progression. They are not of the same flower.

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NSW Waratah p2050357 image NSW Waratah pa130063 image

Waratahs regrow after fire from their lignotubers underground. Nearly all of the images shown here were from plants that were "razed" by fire a year or two earlier.

Waratahs and several other plants thrive in the years immediately following a bush fire before the canopy closes up.

Waratahs are pollinated by birds - the seed pods maturing in early winter.

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Although usually a vivid crimson in colour, the NSW Waratah occasionally has white tips or is pink as shown here.

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However the only white NSW Waratah that currently exists was found in the NSW Southern Highlands. Cuttings were taken and the Wirrimbirra White cultivar was produced.

The White Waratah Festival is celebrated each year in the Wollondilly Shire. [The Wollondilly Shire is centred on Picton which is about 100km south-west of Sydney].

Additional Waratah images that were just too brilliant to leave in the bottom drawer.

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All of the above photos were taken in the upper Blue Mountains in New South Wales. The White Waratah was growing in a garden - there are only two known cultivated plants on this web-site.

Gippsland Waratah image pb200028 141KB

The Gippsland Waratah (Telopea oreades) is a tree over 10 metres tall. It is found in north eastern Victoria and into New South Wales.

Telopea 'Errinundra White' is a cultivated white form.

The images of the Gippsland Waratah were taken on the Bonang Highway, 50km north of Orbost in Victoria.

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