Telopea speciosissima - Waratah
The emblem of New South Wales, this is a truly spectacular plant. An erect shrub with stiff, obtuse leaves with light coloured veins and a sharphy toothed margin. Flower heads terminal, bright red, about 15 cm across, made up of a dense cluster of flowers surrounded by bright red bracts. The stems are very erect and hardly branch at all. Most flowers are usually at a height of about 3 m
Flowering: Spring; or spring to summer in the mountains.
Habitat: Forest, on sandy soils. Often found on slopes into gullies.
Distribution: Widespread in Sydney from the coast to the mountains. In New South Wales also on the south coast and northern tablelands. This is a very adaptable species and is widely grown in gardens. Breeding has produced white and pink varieties. Although endemic to New South Wales, it is grown in gardens well outside the state.
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