If everything you know about flowers comes from a Flower Fairies book, you may well have already met the sensational Waratah.
As a florist of 15 years, I’m still meeting new flower varieties and the Waratah is one showy bloom that I never encountered in Europe or South America. At the Dutch flower auctions there were kangaroo paw and king proteas a plenty, but it wasn’t until arriving in Australia in 2010 that I first met a real life Waratah.
Waratahs are all the more special due to their short season, being only available for a few weeks each year, between August and October. Snap them up as you see them at the Beija Flor studio or Parap Fine Foods, as the following week they may be gone!
Waratah are a hardy woody stemmed flower with a good vase life, as with all cut flowers you’ll want to cut at least 2cm off each stem with sharp secateurs (we use Felco) and place immediately in fresh cool water.
Don’t be afraid to cut your Waratahs down short, their showy magenta blooms are best viewed from above, making them ideal en masse in a wide necked vase for your coffee table.
Waratahs pair well with other Australian native varieties, add some kangaroo paw to your vase for height, or some delicate Geraldton wax-flower for a feminine touch.
The Waratah also matches well with other vivid coloured blooms. We’ve used limey molucella, kangaroo paw and Australian grown classic rose, Mojo, in this colour popping vase for the Prince of Wales room, at Government House in Darwin.