Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dorrigo Waratahs at Robertson Heritage Railway Station

Dorrigo Waratah makes a spectacular plant.
These outstanding Dorrigo Waratah plants make a fine summer display at the Robertson Heritage Railway Station.
Dorrigo Waratah at Robertson Heritage Railway Station

The NSW Waratah, Telopea speciosissima and its cultivars, and some hybrid Waratahs are also grown at the Robertson Railway Station, but they flower around the October Long Weekend (actually at the end of September, and early October).

As the name "Dorrigo Waratah" suggests, these plants grow naturally "in warm-temperate rainforest or rarely in wet sclerophyll forest, on escarpment ranges above 700 m altitude, Missabotti, Dorrigo and Mt Hyland areas (of NSW), and the McPherson Range", (SE  Qld). (Source: PlantNET) But as cultivated plants, they thrive out in the open in Robertson. Our natural habitat is classed as "cool-temperate", so maybe the adjustment to growing them in the open compensates for our lower summer temperatures.

Dorrigo Waratahs cultivated in the open, at Robertson
Their scientific name is Alloxylon pinnatum. They are related to the traditional Australian Waratahs (Telopea spp.) and Oreocallis and Chilean Firetree (Embothrium coccineum) from South America. Almost all these species have red terminal flowers, and hence the subtribe's origin and floral appearance most likely predates the splitting of Gondwana into Australia, Antarctica, and South America over 60 million years ago." (Source: Wikipedia)

Dorrigo Waratah - the whole plant makes a great display

Dorrigo Waratah flowers are less "showy" than the NSW Waratah

The leaf of the Dorrigo Waratah reveals its rainforest heritage - fresh green and soft.

Honey Bee making a Bee Line for the Dorrigo Waratah flower.
These plants have been grown by local Waratah enthusiast, Dr David Tranter, who has been largely responsible for the landscaping of the  Robertson Heritage Railway Station precinct. A great contribution to the local community.


Flabmeister said...

Another example of the benefits of the wonderful soil of Robbo, and the community spirit of the folk who live there!


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
I would like to say good soil makes for a good community.
Cannot say that is a scientific assessment, but....
I moved here for the good soil.
Maybe other people did so too?