60 million years ago …

Telopea truncata, commonly known as the Tasmanian waratah, is a plant in the family Proteaceae. It is endemic to Tasmania where it is found on moist acidic soils at altitudes of 600 to 1200 m (2000–4000 ft). These flowers were located above “The Springs” on the Organ Pipe track, kunanyi – Mt Wellengton.

 Telopea truncata is a component of alpine eucalypt forest, rainforest and scrub communities. It grows as a multistemmed shrub to a height of 3 metres (10 ft), or occasionally as a small tree to 10 m (35 ft) high, with red flower heads, known as inflorescences, appearing over the Tasmanian summer (November to February) and bearing 10 to 35 individual flowers.

Telopea truncata is one, and possibly the most distinctive, of five species from southeastern Australia which make up the genus Telopea. It is the earliest offshoot of a lineage that gives rise to the Gippsland waratah (T. oreades) and Monga waratah (T. mongaensis) of southeastern mainland Australia.

The perianths of T. truncata are of a single shade of red, whereas those of its mainland relatives are coloured with two distinct shades of red—the surfaces facing the centre of the flower head are a much brighter red than those facing away.

The genus is classified in the subtribe Embothriinae of the Proteaceae, along with the tree waratahs (Alloxylon) from eastern Australia and New Caledonia, and the South American genera Oreocallis and Embothrium.

Almost all of these species have red terminal flowers, and hence the subtribe’s origin and floral appearance most likely pre-dated the splitting of Gondwana into Australia, Antarctica, and South America over 60 million years ago.

The above info is from Wikipedia

A larger mainland Waratah species growing in a neighbours garden.

These images were taken with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm F2.8 Macro lens on an Olympus OM-D EM1 Mark II using in camera focus stacking.

17 thoughts on “60 million years ago …

    1. Thank you, I took them for my mother in-law, one will be printed and framed for her wall. She only specified she wanted something red, this flower came to mind immediately, but I had to wait until November, then go for a hike hoping it would be out in flower 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The larger New South Wales ones look fantastic down the neighbours drive with their vivid red flowers amongst the green foliage. I don’t have any myself but am keen to propagate one now.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, my mother in-law wants a photo of “something red” in a frame she has, this is the first thing I thought of. I think it will look great printed large!

      Liked by 1 person

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