|Telopea mongaensis subsp. var.|
Telopea mongaensis, commonly known as the Monga Waratah or Braidwood Waratah, is a shrub or small tree in the Proteaceae family. Endemic to Australia, it grows at high altitude in south eastern New South Wales. It bears many red flowerheads in spring, each made up of 28 to 65 individual flowers, and has narrow green leaves. It is often seen in moist areas at the edge of rainforest or by streams in eucalyptus forests.
Telopea mongaensis grows as a tall shrub to 6 m (20 ft) high. The thin leaves are 4–18 cm (1.6–7 in) in length, and 0.5–2 cm (0.2–0.8 in) wide. The red flowers form in spring. Open, thin and wiry, the flowerheads (inflorescences) are not as spectacular as those of T. speciosissima but are much more numerous on the plant. Each flowerhead is around 6 to 10 cm (2.4-4 in) in diameter, and composed of anywhere from 28 to 65 individual small flowers, or florets. Anthesis, or the opening of the flowers, begins at the edges or base of the flowerhead and moves to the centre. The individual flower bears a sessile anther (that is, it lacks a filament), which lies next to the stigma at the end of the style. The ovary lies at the base of the style and atop a stalk known as the gynophore, and it is from here that the seed pods then develop. Meanwhile, a crescent shaped nectary lies at the base of the gynophore. The flowerheads are surrounded by green or pink leafy bracts 1.2-4.5 cm (0.5-0.9 in) in length, much less prominent than those of the New South Wales Waratah. Flowering is followed by the development of woody seed pods, 4.5–7 cm (0.9-2.8 in) long.
It can be distinguished from the similar T. oreades, which has larger leaves and often grows with a tree-like habit.
Telopea mongaensis is more tolerant of shade, heavier soils and cooler climates than its more showy relative. It grows as a more compact plant of around 2 m (7 ft) in height in full sun. It is frost tolerant and has been grown in southern England, and has been awarded an Award of Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society in 1980. It attracts birds to the garden.
Pests and diseases
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- ↑ Willis, JL (1959). "The genus Telopea". Australian Plants (Chipping Norton, NSW: Surrey Beatty & Sons) 1 (1): 7-10.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Wrigley, John; Fagg, Murray (1991). Banksias, Waratahs and Grevilleas. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. p. 539. ISBN 0-207-17277-3.
- ↑