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Kangaroo Paw

INTRODUCTION Anigozanthos flavidus (Kangaroo Paw) and its other genus members are perennials endemic to siliceous areas of Southwest Australia. Kangaroo Paw is of the bloodwart family Haemodoraceae.

FACTS TO NOTE Anigozanthos contains 11 species with their own subspecies. Kangaroo Paw is a general name for many of these species though some are known as “Catspaw” as their flowers are shorter in length. Anigozanthos is a HIGHLY cultivated genus. Multiple hybrids have been developed over recent years varying in color and size. Popular in flower arrangements, they are commercially grown in the US, Australia, Japan and Israel. Kangaroo Paws are characterized by their rhizomatous growth. By growing from an underground rhizome (or modified root), they are able to conserve water and keep foliage hydrated through times of drought. These plants are a preferred choice of gardeners for their ability to handle intense amounts of heat and sunlight, thereby creating shade for other plants dwelling beneath them. A Kangaroo Paw’s flowers are an attractant to a variety of songbirds and hummingbirds but interestingly do not attract bees for two reasons. The first being that they produce a diluted nectar. The second being that bees (unlike humans) see in the ultraviolet spectrum. This prevents them from seeing the color red.

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