The Kangaroo Paws comprise a small group of 11 species in the genus Anigozanthos and a single species in the genus Macropidia. They are perennial herbs consisting of strap-like leaves arising from underground rhizomes. Flowers occur in clusters on stalks which emerge from the bases of the leaves. A number of species die back to the rhizome in summer, regenerating in autumn. All species are restricted in distribution to the southern areas of Western Australia.
Because of their horticultural potential, numerous hybrids of Anigozanthos species have been developed, often using the very hardy A.flavidus as one of the parents. Anigozanthos ‘Regal Claw’ is an elegant plant with A. preissii and A.flavidus as its parents. It is a clumping plant with leaves 250mm long. The double headed clusters of orange and red flowers are up to 40 mm long and occur on stems to 1.5 metres in height. Flowering peaks during spring, but may occur throughout the year.
For best flowering, A. “Regal Claw” should be located in a sunny position and be well watered. Annual fertilising after flowering using a general purpose fertiliser may be beneficial.
As A. ‘Regal Claw’ is a hybrid, seed, if it is set, will not produce plants similar to the parent. As with all cultivars, propagation needs to be carried out by vegetative means, in this case by division of the clump, usually after flowering. Hybrid kangaroo paws are propagated commercially by tissue culture.
Further Reading: Hopper, S (1993): “Kangaroo Paws and Catspaws – A Natural History and Field Guide”, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia
Anigozanthos ‘Regal Claw’
Photo: Brian Walters