If collecting unique plant varieties, adding something intriguing to your garden or you simply love being amongst the first – then let us introduce you to these stunning new Kangaroo Paw that have been ten years in the making…
True blue world first…
Crimson reds, bright golden yellows, lime green and even tangerine orange are colours we’ve come to know and love in the ever-popular kangaroo paw – but more recently, a ground breaking breeding program has seen the creation of highly unique blue hued, electric pink and purple varieties.
These exciting new additions to the Kangaroo Paw family bred by Kings Park Botanic Garden took nearly a decade to develop and brings stunning new colour dimensions to your garden with intriguing year-round flowers.
But these world first new hues came about by accident – and a lot of patience – explains Kings Park’s Senior Plant Breeder Digby Growns.
“It had the absolute wow factor, and I knew we had to target this one!”
“Our dedicated breeding program with Anigozanthos in Kings Park and Botanic Garden began in 2007 and our initial focus of the program was to breed plants that were hardier for people’s gardens. By 2013 a teal blue one started flowering from a cross that we did in 2012. It had an absolute wow factor, and I knew we had to target this one!” says Digby.
True blue flowers are rare in native plants and the commercial development of the ‘Masquerade’ kangaroo paw required carefully controlled cross-pollination between green and red-and-green varieties over years, finally producing a world-first blue kangaroo paw available for commercial release.
“We’re the only breeding program in the world that is focused on the environment,” adds Digby. “We want to breed plants that use less water, have less disease and provide habitat for local fauna.”
The blue kangaroo paw has been developed to be disease tolerant to ink-spot and rust, common issues affecting the plants species’ survival.
And from this ground-breaking hybridisation work, a dazzling ‘Bush Gems’ range are now bred for their extraordinary colours that have never been seen before in Kangaroo Paws. Anigozanthos ‘Masquerade’, the blue flowering variety is now complemented by a purple flowering ‘Carnivale’ and ‘Fireworks’, with an electric pink base fading to a soft blue tip.
Allowing gardeners to bring a new twist to this much loved Australian native, you can try them in pots to create interest in courtyard gardens, or add spectacular washes of colour to larger spaces by planting en masse or as borders. They also make superb cut flowers. Best suited to full sun / partly shaded positions in well-draining soil. Low maintenance as well as frost, salt and drought hardy, we suggest you prune after flowering to encourage new growth.
“Kangaroo paws are really special plants. By planting them in your garden you provide a food source for native honey-eating birds and the plants also make a really colourful addition to any garden…”
The Native Plant Project team are excited to be now amongst a few select nurseries growing the Anigozanthas ‘Fireworks’ PBR, (multi-coloured), Anigozanthos Celebrations ‘Carnivale’ PBR (the purpled hued variety) and Anigozanthos ‘Masquerade’ (blue flowering) – all in limited supply – at our e-nursery to share with fellow native plant enthusiasts, be sure to snap up yours to bring something highly prized to your outdoor space.