Stealing Waratahs – enough to give you the blues

September 5, 2010 by
Filed under: Australian Plants 
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Stop the Wildflower – Waratah Theft

Waratahs (Telopea speciossisma) are in full flower at the moment and some of the best wildflower displays you can see are within Brisbane Water National Park around the Warrah Trig area on the NSW Central Coast, just north of Sydney.

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Waratah Flower in full bloom at Warrah Trig, Brisbane Water National Park

Unfortunately, Waratah blooms are being poached from the bush and Cathy Offord from the Royal Botanic gardens, Mt Annan and I  conducted a study on efforts to reduce Waratah poaching by painting some of the flowers with blue paint. The study revealed that although the painting did reduce the rate of theft a little, there was not a real difference between the rate of theft between painted and unpainted flowers.

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Waratah painted with blue paint which we hoped would reduce the theft of the blooms

Full details of the study is now published in Cunninghamia the ecological journal of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, and Tim Entwisle has also an online article.

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