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Telopea speciosissima - (Sm.)R.Br.

Common Name Waratah
Family Proteaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone soils[265].
Range Australia - New South Wales.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Telopea speciosissima Waratah

Telopea speciosissima Waratah


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Telopea speciosissima is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 2 m (6ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. It is in leaf all year, in flower in May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.



Woodland Garden Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Nectar.
Edible Uses:

The flowers produce copious amounts of nectar, this can be sipped directly or used to make a sweet beverage[183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

Other Uses


The stems are used in basket making[156].

Cultivation details

Prefers a rather poor stony soil[167]. Requires a lime-free soil[182]. Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil that is low in phosphates[166]. Requires a lot of summer heat, abundant moisture in the growing season and a dry spell when dormant[166]. Only succeeds outdoors in the milder areas of Britain[182], requiring greenhouse protection in most parts of the country[1]. The plant is hardy to at least -7°c in Australian gardens[157], but this cannot be translated directly to British gardens due to our cooler summers and longer colder and wetter winters. Plants have been known to tolerate temperatures down to -5° in Britain, occasionally lower when in a very good position[200]. This plant is the floral emblem of New South Wales[157, 182].


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Seed - sow spring in a warm greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

caitlin   Thu Nov 2 2006

this is not enough information on the telopea, even if this information is pretty well said, even i can understand it...but its not enough information...can oyu recomend a site that has alot more info? i really need this info for an assignment that will determine if i go up a grade in high school, so please recommend a site...and soon...please

Ken Fern, Plants for a Future.   Mon Nov 6 2006

A site with quite a lot of background information on this plant is http://www.anbg.gov.au/emblems/nsw.emblem.html

angela cooper   Sat Mar 1 2008

I wish to buy a telopea shrub for my Surrey Garden, who are suppliers in UK. The Warratah was my school emblem thats why I want to have a plant in my new border.

Jose Waizel-Bucay   Thu Jan 1 2009

Synonym; Embothrium speciossimum S. Common names: New South Wales Waratah, waratah

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