The waratah is a stout, erect shrub which grows up to 4 metres. The dark green leathery leaves are arranged alternately and tend to be coarsely toothed. The beautiful flowers are actually individual flowers grouped in rounded heads that usually grow red but can be pink or even white. The waratah was proclaimed the official floral emblem of NSW in October 1962. The name waratah comes from the Eora Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of the Sydney area. The waratah is one of the most difficult plants to cultivate. It can take a few years before the plant will flower so patience is required.