The colourful waratah is the floral emblem of New South Wales. It is now widely grown by the horticultural industry and many cultivars have been developed. They range in colour from white, through pale rose to deep scarlet.
It was one of the first Australian plants to be collected for cultivation in Europe as it was common in the sandstone country around the first European settlement at Port Jackson.
It provides ample nectar which is a 'reward' for bird pollinators and it is said that Aborigines also used to eat nectar from the flowers.