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Common Name: Waratah
Telopea speciosissima is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 3.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Australia - New South Wales.
Dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone soils[
]. Grows in soils with sand on the surface and brown or yellow clay at depth over sandstone, in eucalypt forest with sclerophyll shrub understorey[
Prefers a rather poor stony soil[
]. Requires a lime-free soil[
]. Requires a sunny position in a well-drained soil that is low in phosphates[
]. Requires a lot of summer heat, abundant moisture in the growing season and a dry spell when dormant[
Only succeeds outdoors in the milder areas of Britain[
], requiring greenhouse protection in most parts of the country[
]. The plant is hardy to at least -7°c in Australian gardens[
], 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[
This plant is the floral emblem of New South Wales[
The flowers produce copious amounts of nectar, this can be sipped directly or used to make a sweet beverage[
The stems are used in basket making[
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.