Family: Proteaceae
Common Name: Tree Waratah

This small genus of evergreen subtropical trees is native to Australia and South America. Their decorative foliage and brilliant scarlet flowers make them attractive trees to cultivate.


A. flammeum (Synonyms: Oreocallis wickhamii), tree waratah or red silky oak, grows to 25 m (80 ft) in its habitat but is more usually 6-15 m (20-50 ft) in Cultivation. The glossy lobed leaves are variable in shape and the scarlet flowers are crowded on the ends of the branches. In sheltered situations the spring flowers last for many weeks.

A. pinnatum (Synonyms: Oreocallis pinnata), Queensland waratah tree, reaches 18-20 m (60-65 ft) in tropical rainforest situations but very much less in Cultivation. The bright scarlet flowers on 4 cm (1½ in) stalks appear on the tips of the branches in spring. Not all are available outside their countries of origin.


In frost-prone Climates, grow in a cool greenhouse or conservatory. Use well-drained soil-based compost. Outdoors, plant in rich, well-drained soil in a warm spot sheltered from strong wind. Ample summer water is needed, at least until the trees are well established. Propagate from fresh seed or from semi-ripe cuttings taken in summer or early autumn.


Zone 9 and above.

Allocasuarina      Allspice