Thursday 13 August 2020

Waratah (Australia, c1959)

Waratah is a genus containing five species of large shrubs or small trees, endemic to Australia. The best-known of the waratah is the telopea speciosissima, which has red blooms and is the state flower of New South Wales. Waratah tend to have big ball-like clusters of flowers made up of densely packed small flowers in bright colours (my translation of some science-speak over on the Wikipedia page – don’t judge me!). Darwin would have had fun with waratah – whilst they are all related, they are all differnt and naturally exist in isolation in different parts of Eastern Australia and Tasmania. Steeping the leaves in water produces a drink which is (a) tasty and (b) supposed to have medicinal effects.

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