Plant of the Month – August 2020
Originating from Southwest Australia, this perennial plant forms a clump of strap-like leaves growing from an underground rhizome, which has evolved to allow the species to regenerate after drought or fire. When established each plant can produce over 350 flowers on long stems, which can grow up to 1.8m in height. The tubular flowers grow at the end of each flower stem in groups of six and have pointed lobes, which curve at their tips giving them a paw-like appearance, hence their common name of ‘Kangaroo Paw’. Tiny hairs cover the flowers, giving then a velvety appearance.
In their native habitat, pollen is distributed by birds as they plunge into the flowers to reach the nectar. Flowers come in shades of reds, yellow and orange, with other varieties producing flowers of green, pink, or brown.
These stunning plants can be found in Gyllyngdune Gardens (Princess Pavilion) in the border leading from Emslie Road, as well as in the top garden by the greenhouse.