Common Name: Red Kangaroo Paw
Family: HAEMODORACEAE (14 genera)
Origin of Scientific Name
Anigozanthos – origin uncertain, but the three possibilities are from Greek anisos = unequal (alluding to the corolla), anichos = elevated (as hands in prayer), or anoigo = to open or undo (alluding to the open branching of the flower stems) + Greek anthos = flower.
rufus – Latin = red, reddish brown
Anigozanthos rufus is one of 11 species and 11 subspecies belonging to the genus Anigozanthos. The Red Kangaroo Paw grows from 0.2 to 1 metre, commonly with rust red flowers, though often tinged purple, and yellow varieties are not uncommon.
The southern half of Western Australia is the only place in the world where the genus Anigozanthos is found growing naturally, and Anigozanthos rufus’ natural distribution is on the south coast of Western Australia, from Denmark in the west, to Cape Arid National Park in the east. It is the only Kangaroo Paw found in the Esperance region.
Refer to the distribution map for this species via the Department of Environment and Conservation's FloraBase online herbarium.
August to December or January.
All Kangaroo Paws can be grown from seed, but may require pre-treatments such as heat shock (100 °C for 60 minutes) or smoke. They require a well-drained site and prefer a sunny position. They flourish with brutal pruning; you can whipper-snipper them down to ground level when flowering has finished, and they will be back next season.
Pests and Diseases
Kangaroo Paws are very attractive to snails, slugs and to a lesser extent caterpillars, particularly when young. They are also susceptible to ink-spot and rust fungus, which can be minimised by avoiding overhead watering.
In 2009/2010, after nearly three decades of trials, testing and selection, a striking, orange variety of Anigozanthos rufus, Kings Park Federation Flame was released for sale in Australia, and internationally in 2011. Read more about the development of Kings Park Federation Flame here.
View In Kings Park
Straight species of A. rufus can be seen at the entry to the Western Australian Botanic Garden and in the garden beds surrounding Fraser’s Restaurant and Botanical Cafe. You will also find plantings of Kings Park Federation Flame in those beds as well as in the first bed of the water garden adjacent to Forrest Drive and in the garden beds surrounding Zamia Cafe.
To help locate these sites, you may wish to download the Western Australian Botanic Garden Guide brochure via our brochures page.