The kangaroo’s paw

(Mostly about plants rather than language.)

A visit with Juan Gomez to Palo Alto’s Gamble Garden this morning. Mostly a riot of midsummer garden standards (dahlias, alstromerias, phlox, snapdragons, foxgloves, ageratum, zinnias, cornflowers, salvias, rose of sharon, yarrows, and much, much more), but with some surprises in there, including a stand of a wonderfully weird plant that turned out to be a celebrated Australian native that’s been bred in a number of varieties and exported to (at least) the U.K. and the U.S.: kangaroo paw.

A (not fantastic) photo of the variety we saw, “Tequila Sunrise”:


From Wikipedia:

Anigozanthos [the origins of the taxonomic name is not entirely clear] is a small genus of Australian plants in the Bloodwort family  Haemodoraceae. The 11 species and several subspecies are commonly known as kangaroo paw and catspaw depending on the shape of their flowers.

“Tequila Sunrise” is in the yellow/orange range, as are two others: “Bush Harmony”:


and “Harmony”:


Other varieties are pink, peach, and (especially) red; the floral emblem of Southwest Australia is a red kangaroo’s paw.


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