Anigozanthos preissii

Common name: ‘Albany Catspaw’

Family: HAEMODORACEAE

Anigozanthos preissii flowerOrigin of Scientific Name

Anigozanthos – from the Greek anises, meaning 'unequal' or 'oblique', and anthos, meaning 'flower', in reference to the division of the floral extremities into six unequal parts.

preissii – after Ludwig Preiss, 19th century German botanist.

Description

A small perennial herb with stems covered in reddish woolly hairs, growing to approximately 70 cm tall. The leaves are 10-25 cm long, sheathed at the base and tapering to a fine point. This species is most easily recognised by its large claw-like, orange-yellow flowers on top of a stem with one fork. The flowers are tubular, 5-6 cm long and covered with red hairs at the pedicel and ovary, with orange-yellow or greenish yellow hairs toward the lobes. Perianths are the most deeply lobed in the genus, suggesting that it might be the Anigozanthos species most closely related to Macropidia. The seeds are the largest of any species in the genus, up to 2.5 mm across.

Distribution

It is restricted to an area within 50 km of Albany, with an outlying population near Walpole. It occurs in low, open woodland of Albany blackbutt. Refer to the distribution map for this species via the Department of Environment and Conservation's FloraBase online herbarium.

Cultivation/Propagation

Propagation is from seed or division. This species has proven to be quite difficult to maintain in cultivation. It prefers moist but well drained, light to medium soils, and is best suited to partial or full sun. It is recommended that plants be divided regularly to help promote vigorous growth and prolong their life. Plants grow well in containers and good drainage is essential.

Flowering Season

October to November

Notes

This is the first time Anigozanthos preissii has been successfully grown and planted in the Western Australian Botanic Garden. There are some beautiful examples of this species planted among other spring flowering perennials and annuals on the floral mound outside Aspects of Kings Park. This species attracts a range of nectar-loving birds.

View in Kings Park

Anigozanthos preissii can be seen growing on the floral mound outside Aspects of Kings Park gallery shop.