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Common name: Waratah
Telopea speciosissima (Sm.) R.Br. APNI*
Description: Shrubs with 1-few erect, slender, few-branched stems to 3 m high; glabrous except at apex of bracts or sparsely to moderately rusty-hairy on axes and lower surface of leaves (populations north of Hawkesbury R.).
Adult leaves narrow-obovate to narrow-spathulate, 8–28 cm long, 20–65 mm wide, apex usually acute to truncate, margins rarely entire or more often toothed with 0–3 pairs of teeth in lower half, base very attenuate, leathery but usually not harsh, minutely granulate when dried; both surfaces with prominently raised veins.
Conflorescences few, 90–250-flowered; basal flowers opening first; involucral bracts mostly 5–9 cm long, bright red. Body of follicle 8–15 cm long.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows on sandy soils with brown or yellow clay at depth over sandstone, in dry sclerophyll forest, from Ulladulla to Watagan Mts and in Blue Mtns.
NSW subdivisions: CC, SC, CT, ST
This is the official floral emblem for the State of NSW.
Text by M. D. Crisp & P. H. Weston (1995); edited KL Wilson October 2007
Taxon concept: M.D. Crisp & P.H. Weston (1995)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.