Sunday, 2 November 2008

Tasmanian Waratah (Telopea truncata)

The Waratah bushes on the Hartz Plateau had flower buds on them the other day, so it won't be too long before they're out in bloom.

Waratah flower buds, Telopea truncata, Hartz Plateau - 23rd October 2008
Waratah flower buds, Telopea truncata, Hartz Plateau - 23rd October 2008
Waratah flower buds, Telopea truncata, Hartz Plateau - 23rd October 2008
The open seed pods are interesting too.

Waratah seed pod, Telopea truncata, Hartz Plateau - 23rd October 2008


Denis Wilson said...

s to me like the flowers are a way off opening, yet.
Nice to see the seed pod opened successfully.
I thought that your Waratah was a tall tree-like shrub. Looks like this is a fairly stunted one, out in the open. Is this an alpine variant - an adaptation to the Hartz Mtns environs?

Mark said...

Well, "won't be too long" is a fairly loose expression. As someone at work pointed out today, it's Christmas next month. I thought it might be a few weeks till they bloomed.

So then I checked back to last year (which is why I keep the blog anyway) and on 24th November last year I posted a picture of Waratah in bloom. So, OK, it won't happen overnight, but it will happen.....

To answer your second point; there are Tasmanian Waratah bushes of various sizes. They are described in "Wildflowers of Mt Wellington" (Plant Identikit 1988) as "A large shrub up to 8m tall, but often much shorter." The Launceston Field Naturalists Club's "Flowers and Plants of Tasmania" describes it as a "...spreading shrub or small tree to 8m...". I don't think I've seen one 8m tall, and on this exposed plateau, they are probably no more than 2.5m, maybe 3m in some small copses, and often much shorter. I haven't carefully checked, but some probably only grow to about 1.5m, maybe shorter. In forest providing shelter, I think I've probably seen them up to about 5m. These photos were taken at or below chest height.

I will be posting some pictures of the shortest/smallest eucalypt soon, E. vernicosa, which is small enough to hide behind a small rock in its most stunted form, so these Waratahs are quite big plants. The wind on these mountains is fearsome.

Ivy said...

If you visit the West Coast of Tassie you will find them to be easily 8m in height. They can also be the smaller shrubby size as well growing side by side. I live in Waratah and they are lovely at the moment.