Anigozanthos manglesii   Kangaroo Paw Endemic

Anigozanthos manglesii group Anigozanthos manglesii

This was the first plant I was shown on our first visit to Australia. It can only be described as having the look of a plant from Mars designed by a Science Fiction author but as with many plants the structure is actually related to function. Quite a few plants in Australia are pollinated by birds rather than insects and it is the red colour which attracts birds to the plant.

This one is most often pollinated by a Honey eater: Anthochaera carunculata (The Red Wattlebird) which is slightly too heavy for the plant. The bird, seeking nectar a long way down the green tubular petals, causes the stem to bend and as it does the rake like anthers (the "paw") deposit pollen on the birds back or head. When it visits the next plant the pollen is deposited on the small green stigma which you can see in the RHS photo and in the enlarged side view (thumbnail below).

This is quite a tall plant of the Australian Bush and flowering stems can reach 1200 cm. Unlike the plants photographed the plant usually has one flower open at a time each maturing on opposite sides of the flower stem to maximise the chances of pollination and pollen transfer.

Anigozanthos manglesii is the commonest of the Kangaroo Paws and can even be seen growing on the central reservation of highways around Perth.

Anigozanthos manglesii

Anigozanthos manglesii Kangaroo Paw

Wireless Hill Park, Perth, Australia 24th August 2007

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Anigozanthos manglesii

Anigozanthos manglesii Kangaroo Paw

Wireless Hill Park, Perth, Australia 24th August 2007

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Anigozanthos manglesii Anigozanthos manglesii

Wireless Hill Park, Perth, Australia 24th August 2007

Added on 12th October 2007, updated 9th July 2008, updated 27th Feb 2010

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