White on White

This lovely planting of flannel flowers and white waratah reaches its perfect, but brief, flowering peak in early spring here in a sheltered spot at ‘the workplace’ in Melbourne. 

The luminosity of these flowers in the gold light at the end of the day was superb.

While the great globe heads of the waratah had been bruised by the wind this week, the flannel flowers – which look so delicate and fragile – showed no signs of harm.

The flannel refers to the soft fuzziness of the flowers and leaves, rather than suggesting the plant is somewhat dowdy.

Latin names for those of that ilk are Telopea speciosissima (red waratah) and Actinotus Helianthi (flannel flower)


Other Australian Native flower posts and related blogs you might like:

All flora has significance in indigenous Australia and one of the stories of the waratah is retold on Out of the Blue blog by Jai Guru. Jai lives in the Waratah heartland of the Blue Mountains. The story of Krubi and the Waratah was told by Camoola, an elder of the Burragorang in 1802.

A typically Aussie ‘legend’ of how the rare white waratah was first brought into cultivation is told on Rusticello’s blog. 

Another aboriginal legend tells the story of the Wonga pigeon which, mourning her lost love and killed by a hawk, turned the white waratahs red.

Some images of the more emblematic red waratah on Jay’s naturebum blog

Margo’s lovely notebook on lots of things around her home in NSW has a great short post on flannel flowers at Stony Range Botanic Gardens.

An older post of my favourite Australian native flower: a drawing of the banksia.

Some lovely stories and photos from Banksia Hollow by Nev and Bryon who are living off the grid in the stunning beauty of Tasmania


4 thoughts on “White on White

    • Hi Hilary – yes I think they might need a little bit of a hand. Still it’s unusual to see them thriving in Melbourne. Here they are planted in a raised bed against a west facing brick wall so the microclimate is possibly just right. They are shaded by larger trees so wouldn’t get too roasted in summer. They’re very beautiful specimens.


  1. Interesting and beautiful species! I just read the story of the Waratah – many species are said to have been appeared from the love and loss of someone dear. Plants as reborn souls…

    Liked by 1 person

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