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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Australia's Kangaroo Paws

One of the most unique florals, Australia's national flower the Kangaroo Paw has some very interesting facts to go along with that interesting name.

  • Native to Australia, Kangaroo Paws are exported to many parts of the globe and are grown commercially in the USA, Israel and Japan.
  • The size, flower-stalk height and colour of kangaroo paws flowers varies between the species.
  • The overall colour of the flowers is influenced by fine coloured hairs which cover the flowers and, sometimes, part of the stalk.

  •  The flowers appear over spring and summer. 
  • The flowers are pollinated by birds, unlike the majority of flower species that are polinated by insects. 
  • A major disease of kangaroo paws is a fungus which causes ink disease, Ink disease appears as large black blotches on the leaves.

  • In general kangaroo paws grow best in well-drained soils in a sunny position. Well-composted organic matter will improve growth.
  • The fuzzy Kangaroo Paw flowers can irritate the skin and should be avoided by persons with floral allergies.
  • The genus name, Anigozanthos is derived from the Greek word 'anises', meaning unequal or oblique, and 'anthos', meaning flower, an allusion to the division of the Kangaroo Paw flower into six unequal parts.

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