Secret Life of The Waratah Flower

In Flowers by Seamus7 Comments

The Waratah flower is amazing. Un-missable in the Monbulk warehouse this week are rows and rows of big, beautiful Waratahs – and currently we also have some unusual white ones as well (pictures of actual stock below).

Here are some interesting facts about this awesome Australian native:

waratah flower

Waratah Flowers Cause A Political Controversy

The Waratah flower is the floral emblem of New South Wales and in 2009 was involved in some controversy as when the government unveiled their new $5000 emblem an outcry went out amongst botanists (and the opposition) that rather than a picture of a Waratah, they had in fact bought a picture of an Indian lotus!.

Beautiful Medicine

Waratah Flowers get their name is an Aboriginal word for ‘beautiful” (comes from the Eora people, the original inhabitants of the Sydney area). Here’s a lovely Dreamtime story of how the flower was created and got its name.

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The beauty of the flower was not the only use for the flower however, the indigenous people used to place the flower in a bowl of water to let the flavour and sweetness of the flower infuse with the liquid to be used as a medicinal tonic for children.

White Warratahs

Many Flowers in One Striking, Tall Redhead

The botanical term for the flower is quite logical, seeing as the flowers are big and visible from quite far away – Telopea which comes form the Greek word ‘telepos”, literally ‘seen from a distance’.

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The flower head is in fact a conflorescence (a cluster of flowers) consisting of up to as many as 240 individual flowers depending on the species and the plant can grow up to three metres tall.

Know any interesting Waratah facts? Got any photos of arrangements you’ve done using them? Why not comment below with any ideas for using them in floral design?

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Seamus is Tesselaar Flowers' digital marketing manager. He's a creative marketing geek, writer, musician & accidental flower lover. He helps small businesses with websites and web marketing. If you need any help regarding the Tesselaars website you can contact him on


  1. Hello,
    Please put more facts onthe waratah on this site!
    All these facts are awesome but i need more so…

    Kind Regards,

  2. Hi,
    I would like to use waratahs as a centre piece at a function in November, 2015. Where can I purchase cut waratahs and can I have a price estimate for approx 30/40 flowers??

  3. Hi,

    I’m interested with the flowers and I want to investigate the chemical constituents within the flower. I’m looking for the traditional medicine properties from this species. Do you have any references that I can use?



      1. Hi Seamus,

        Thanks for your reply. You mention above that “the indigenous people used to place the flower in a bowl of water to let the flavour and sweetness of the flower infuse with the liquid to be used as a medicinal tonic for children.”
        Where do you get the info? Is there any references that mentioned about it?


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