Tasmanian Waratah (Telopea truncata)

By December 1, 2015Out and about...

A very bright and striking feature of the Tasmanian landscape during summer

Photographing the Tasmanian Waratah with Shutterbug WalkaboutsThe Tasmanian Waratah (Telopea truncata) grows in the sub-alpine woodlands around the state (commonly at altitudes of around 1,000m) and can be seen in full bloom in locations such as Mt Wellington, Hartz Mountains, Mt Field National Park and Cradle Mountain.

The botanical genus ‘Telopea’ is Greek means ‘seen from afar’. Ours is a close relative to the NSW Waratah (or Telopea speciosissima) and both are easily spotted from quite a distance!

The name Waratah was given to the plant by the Dharug tribe of the Blue
Mountains region, later adopted by the early European settlers in NSW and then carried over by early Tasmanian settlers.

A few facts about the endemic Tasmanian Waratah:

  • It is in the Proteaceae family and one of five species in the genus Telopea.
  • The flower head is made up of around 15-30 flowers, loosely clustered to form its distinctive shape.
  • Commonly they are a vibrant red in colour but on rare occasions they may be pink, white or even yellow (we’ve only seen red ones ourselves).
  • It usually flowers from around late November through to January but may start to bloom in October in some areas (we observed this in 2015 season – perhaps due to a drier and warmer Spring than normal).

There can be some challenging factors that come into play when photographing the eye-catching Tasmanian Waratah. Here are two challenges that you may face:

  1. Position – you and the flower. Flowers can be right by the trackside but may be facing a direction not conducive to a good photo or perhaps the one you particularly want may have distracting features about it. Often a flowering shrub is off the track in a difficult location and that’s when you simply stop and enjoy its stunning beauty!
  2. Photographing red subjects is not always easy – depending on your camera the colour vibrancy in your photo may appear unnatural and not as you see it with own eyes. There are various fixes in-camera that may help, like changing the picture style settings, adjust the white-balance and considering the light conditions. Alternatively, you may be able to adjust the colour and saturation in post-processing to restore the vibrancy to the way you observed it in the natural environment.

Would you like to see and photograph the Tasmanian Waratah in its full splendour?
Taking one of our tours or tuition sessions from around October through to January will give you the best opportunity. The season may vary from year to year so be sure to let us know when you book so we can keep you updated about the season that is.

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