The rules for posting are simple!

1. Every Friday post a photo that includes one or more flowers.
2. Please only post photos you have authority to use.
3. Include a link to this blog in your post - http://floralfridayfoto.blogspot.com/
4. Leave the link to your FloralFridayFoto post below on inlinkz.
5. Visit other blogs listed ... comment & enjoy!

When to Post:
inlinkz will be available every Thursday and will remain open until the next Wednesday.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

FFF26 - THE WARATAH

Telopea speciosissima or the “waratah” is a native Australian plant with spectacular flowers. Robert Brown (1773-1858) named the genus Telopea in 1810 from specimens collected in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Sir James Smith (1759-1828), a noted botanist and founder of the Linnaean Society in England, wrote in 1793: 'The most magnificent plant which the prolific soil of New Holland affords is, by common consent, both of Europeans and Natives, the Waratah. It is moreover a favourite with the latter, upon account of a rich honeyed juice which they sip from its flowers'.

The generic name Telopea is derived from the Greek 'telopos', meaning 'seen from afar', and refers to the great distance from which the crimson flowers are discernible. The specific name speciosissima is the superlative of the Latin adjective 'speciosus', meaning 'beautiful' or 'handsome'. 'Waratah', the Aboriginal name for the species, was adopted by early settlers at Port Jackson.


Telopea is an eastern Australian genus of four species. Two are confined to New South Wales, one to Tasmania and one extends from eastern Victoria into New South Wales. Telopea belongs to the family, Proteaceae, which is predominantly Australian and southern African. The Waratah is a stout, erect shrub which may grow to 4 metres. The dark green leathery leaves, 13-25 cm in length, are arranged alternately and tend to be coarsely toothed. The flowers are grouped in rounded heads 7 to 10 cm in diameter surrounded by crimson bracts, about 5 to 7 cm long. It flowers from September to November and nectar-seeking birds act as pollinators. Large winged seeds are released when the brown leathery pods split along one side.

The species is fairly widespread on the central coast and adjoining mountains of New South Wales, occurring from the Gibraltar Range, north of Sydney, to Conjola in the south. It grows mainly in the shrub understorey in open forest developed on sandstone and adjoining volcanic formations, from sea level to above 1000 metres in the Blue Mountains. Soils within its range tend to be sandy and low in plant nutrients. Rainfall is moderately high. Waratah plants resist destruction by bushfires, a natural element of their habitat, by regenerating from the rootstock. Flowering recommences two years after a moderate fire.

The Waratah is a spectacular garden subject in suitable soil and climate; it flowers prolifically and tends to be long-lived. The Waratah occurs naturally in at least ten national parks in the geological formation, know as the Sydney Basin. Brisbane Water, Dharug and Macquarie Pass National Parks are among the areas where this species is conserved. Waratahs are cultivated north of Sydney and in the Dandenong Ranges, Victoria. They are grown in Israel, New Zealand and Hawaii for the cut flower trade. It was introduced to England in 1789 but cannot survive English winters out of doors except in the south-west coastal regions, and it rarely flowers in glasshouses. It is also cultivated in California.

Join me for Floral Friday Fotos by linking your flower photos below, and please leave a comment once you have done so!


30 comments:

  1. You have really been coming up with some exotic (to me, anyway)flowers lately! First those little snail flowers, and now this.

    This is amazing looking. Can you really sip nectar from it?!?

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  2. WOW! This was a real beauty!! I've never seen it before..:o)

    Helene

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  3. What a beautiful bloom! And another new one for me! Thank you so much for the information you provide...I am learning so much! I will be linking up on Sunday...for Friday's Floral of course!

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  4. Indeed, what a spectacular flower!

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  5. what a wonderful flower! i didn´t see before :)

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  6. mine is red too, but not that big. :)
    Don´t think I´ve seen this one before. Looks like a great garden flower.

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  7. Very nice picture you show of the Australian plant "Waratah".
    Hanne Bente / hbt.finus.dk

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  8. What a beautiful plant, never seen before!!
    Too bad I can't grow this flowering plant in my garden:(
    Thank you for sharing.

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  9. Wow! Well, I've been in California, but I've certainly never seen that exotic and beautiful flower! Love it. Thanks Nick for hosting!!

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  10. Such wonderful flower....
    Greetings, Karin

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  11. That is a gorgeous flower! I don't have one for this week, but I should have one for next week. :)

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  12. Such a beautiful red flower! Like!

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  13. That is a beautiful flower, which I have never seen!

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  14. It's such a brilliant blooms. How I wish they would grow up here!

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  15. Wonderful flower with strong bright colors!

    "Waratah" is such a beautiful name.
    Thanks for sharing

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  16. I've never seen this before. It's so beautiful.

    Flowers of Korea

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  17. Gorgeous and beautifully shot!

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  18. I have this uncontrollable urge to reach out and touch that big handsome flower!

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  19. This is quite a spectacular flower! Thanks for hostessing.

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  20. What an amazing flower, I´ve never seen this beauty before.

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  21. Wow, what a beautiful flower! Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful weekend!

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  22. Very interesting shape on this flower. Spiky! And a bright color, too :)

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  23. The heart of this flower is so totally different than the outer leaves, yet it fits! Only in nature:)

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  24. What a gorgeous flower! I have never seen anything quite like it before but will look for it next trip to CA.
    Have a great weekend!

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  25. It looks like a chrysanthemum with a cover

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  26. Wow, what a gorgeous flower.
    Thanks for hosting.
    Mette

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  27. What a beautiful exotic flower. This one will draw attention from all other flowers if it were in a garden. :-)

    ~Imelda

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  28. "Spectacular" is not an adjective strong enough to do justice to this flower!

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  29. Stupenda! felice giornata...ciao

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  30. Superb and exquisite flower and like most of yours, totally new to me! I hope to be able to join your blog next week and share some of our lovely spring flowers! Have a great weekend, Nick!

    Sylvia

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