Anigozanthos is a genus of 11 species all from southern areas of Western Australia in the Haemodoraceae family. An evergreen or semi-deciduous iris-like plant, it has a rhizome that grows just below the surface and sometimes protrudes just above it. Commonly known as "Kangaroo Paws" because of the fuzzy, felty, colored hairs that cover the buds. The closely related Black Kangaroo Paw belongs to a different genus, Macropidia.
Anigozanthos flavidus is a branched tall species and one of the most widely cultivated since it is disease resistant and the easiest to grow in climates with humid summers and can be grown in sun or light shade. It also is tolerant of various kinds of soil. It grows to three meters and has yellow, green, brown, or red flowers. The typical color is pale greenish yellow, but attractive color forms have been selected. It has been one of the main species used in creating hybrids because of its hardiness and disease resistance. Flowering occurs late spring to summer. The photos below were taken near Walpole in Western Australia September 2007 by Mary Sue Ittner.
Anigozanthos humilis is the most common species, growing across a broad area in a variety of soils in winter wet swamps, creek banks, alluvial flats and well drained areas. This is a shorter (leaves to 30 cm.) unbranched species known by the common name of Cat's Paw. Flowers on stems 15 to 60 cm. are mainly yellow with patches of orange or orange with patches of yellow, but can be red as well. Photos taken September 2007 in southwestern Australia near the Stirling Range National Park by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner.
Anigozanthos manglesii is the floral emblem of Western Australia. It grows in a variety of habitats, often in sandy soil. Although quite dramatic with red hairs on the mostly unbranched stems and flower bases, a green perianth and reflexed petals, it is susceptible to disease. Flowers are 6 to 10 cm. long. Photos taken at Kings Park and Botanical Garden, Perth, October 2007 by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner.