Telopea speciosissima Waratah is the is best known of the genus, being an erect slender shrub growing up to 3 m high in the wild and is endemic to New South Wales, Australia It is also the New South Wales floral emblem.

Common Name
Waratah, New South Wales waratah.

The leaves are obovate to spoon-shaped, 8-25 cm long to 6 cm wide, leathery, strongly veined appearance, with toothed like edge and dark green in colour.

Flowering in spring the flower head is an inflorescence comprising of anywhere between 10 and 240 individual flowers growing up to 15 cm in diameter. The size and shape of the blooms can vary considerably, and whilst the flowers are usually red and pink, other colours can occur naturally as well. The flower is surrounded by a ring of bright red bracts, that grow up to 9 cm long.

Images © Ausemade PL

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Order: Proteales
  • Family: Proteaceae
  • Genus: Telopea
  • Species: T. speciosissima
  • Binomial name: Telopea speciosissima


  1. Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) – Telopea
  2. Australian National Herbarium