Telopea Oreades

Telopea oreades, commonly known as the Gippsland waratah, is a large shrub or small tree in the family Proteaceae. Native to southeastern Australia, it is found in wet sclerophyll forest and rainforest on rich acidic soils high in organic matter. No subspecies are recognised, though an isolated population hybridises extensively with the Braidwood waratah (T. mongaensis). Reaching a height of up to 19 metres (65 ft), T. oreades grows with a single trunk and erect habit. It has dark green leaves with prominent veins that are 11–28 centimetres (4.3–11 in) long and 1.5–6 cm (0.6–2.4 in) wide. The red flower heads, or inflorescences, composed of up to 60 individual flowers, appear in late spring. In the garden, T. oreades grows in soils with good drainage and ample moisture in partly shaded or sunny positions. Several commercially available cultivars that are hybrid forms with T. speciosissima have been developed. The timber is hard and has been used for making furniture and tool handles.

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