Common name: Kangaroo Paw
Origin of Scientific Name
The derivation of the name is not agreed among botanists but is likely from the Greek anisos, meaning unequal and anthos, meaning flower. It alludes to the unequal lobes of the flower's outer parts.
Anigozanthos, more commonly called Kangaroo Paw, is a clump forming evergreen perennial endemic to the southwest of Western Australia with 24 species and subspecies within the genus. With vibrant coloured blooms, a velvet-like texture on its flowers and stems and an upright growth habit, Kangaroo Paw is a great addition to gardens for its colour and structure.
Kangaroo Paws have a number of variants and hybrids in naturally occurring populations and have also been used extensively in plant breeding where hybridisation has been practiced for many years. This has resulted in many different colours and forms, with hardiness also being bred into the plants. Intensity of colour is affected by temperature, with lower temperatures providing more intense pigment.
This genus is arguably the most well-known Western Australian genus through the State floral emblem, (the red and green Kangaroo Paw), and many of the cultivars are being grown all over the world as garden plants, potted colour and cut flowers. They are highly attractive to nectar feeding birds and are therefore a great way to bring birds into your garden.
- Kangaroo Paws do not perform well in areas of heavy frost, but grow well in sandy, sandy-loam and gravelly soils and can withstand sun and partial sun conditions.
- Water this plant at its base as overhead watering increases the risk of rust fungus and ink spot fungus on the leaves.
- Blackened areas on the leaves of Kangaroo Paw may signify ink spot, which can be very damaging to the plant and look unsightly. Remove any affected foliage to avoid spreading the condition to the rest of the plant.
- Kangaroo Paw can make a tasty meal for snails and slugs, so keep an eye out and remove these pests.
- Kangaroo Paws can also thrive in pots in a high quality native potting mix.
For more horticultural tips view our Plant Notes section.
View in Kings Park
Visit Kings Park to see Anigozanthos by visiting the garden bed devoted to their display and cultivation located north of the Pioneer Women's Memorial Fountain in the Western Australian Botanic Garden (refer to map).
Want more information?
Refer to the profile for this plant on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' FloraBase online herbarium.