Herbs & Plants

Kangaroo Paw

Botanical Name: Anigozanthos
Family: Haemodoraceae
Subfamily: Conostylidoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Commelinales
Genus: Anigozanthos

Common Names: Kangaroo Paw, Catspaw, Black kangaroo paw, Macropidia fuliginosa.

Habitat : Kangaroo Paw is native to Australia.(These perennials are endemic to dry sandy, siliceous areas of southwest Australia, but they occur as well in a variety of other environments and soil types. They are grown commercially in Australia, the United States, Japan and Israel.)

Kangaroo Paw grows in a perennial plant that grows from short, underground, horizontal rhizomes. The length and the character of these may vary between the species: some are fleshy, others are fragile. The sap in the root system allows the plants to survive extreme dry spells. In summer, a number of species die back to the rhizome, growing back in autumn.

The plants have a basal rosette of long green to greyish-green leaves. The leaves of some species are hairy. From the heart of this roset merge long leafless stalks, which can reach 2 m, ending in a raceme of flowers. The size and height of these stalks, which can be clothed in coloured hairs, varies between the species.

The tuberous flower buds are also covered with coloured hairs, giving it a velvety aspect. These long furry hairs also determine the colour of the flower, which may range from almost black to yellow, orange and red. Some species are even dichromatic (as Anigozanthos manglesii). The tubular form of the flower bud resembles a kangaroo paw, hence its name. The flower tip spreads fanlike into six petals. Full-grown plants can have up to ten flowers at the end of each stalk.

Kangaroo Paws are brightly-colored, large, vividly colored, velvety flowers with no fragrance. Kangaroo Paws have a sturdy stem, which is a natural perch and makes them ideal flowers for birds. Fine, brightly colored hairs cover the flowers and are, sometimes, part of the stalk. A single Kangaroo Paw blooms on each stem during spring (August – October).


The main uses of the flower plant to beautify the garden, the flowers are used for decoration.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.


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