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Protea - Telopia - Growing Guide
Commonly known as ‘Tasmanian Waratah’
Telopeas fall within the protea family and, elsewhere on our site, you can see a more detailed article about caring for and growing proteas. As you would expect these plants are exceptionally beautiful in flower; their other old name of Embothrium truncatum will give you a clue as to the colour and appearance of their flowers. The Greek word ‘telopos’ means ‘which can be seen from afar’ and refers to the flowers.
T. truncata is an evergreen and probably the only member of the telopea family which can be grown or attempted outside in the mildest Cornish coastal locations. We grew one at Caerhays for a decade in an upraised bed in the hottest driest position which we have in the garden. It never flowered but looked perfectly happy until a cold winter killed it off. In the nursery we have had occasional success in flowering T. truncata in a glasshouse.
T. truncata is a bushy shrub in Tasmania with easily recognisable lance shaped leaves. The flower heads are 2-3in across and consist of 10 to 20 long tubular individual flowers.
These are plants we import occasionally from a French grower. If you can get one to flower in your conservatory you will be in for a bonanza of colour!