Cat's Paw


1 entry found.
Cat's Paw
Common Name: Kangaroo-Paw, Cat's Paw
Botanical Name: Anigozanthos spp., Macropidia spp. (a-nee-go-ZAN-thus)
Decorative Life: From 8-25 days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place in plain tap water containing regular household bleach (about 20 drops [1/4 teaspoon] per quart) or flower food as vaselife will often be similar. However, there is data showing that flower food soultions are beneficial and therefore should be used. In fact, sugar pulses from 3 to 20% have been shown to be beneficial, depending on species.
  • Sensitive to water loss. Place them in a hydrating solution as soon as possible after harvest.
Harvest Instructions: The first 1 or 2 flowers per stem should be open. Cut stems at leaf 8 inches up from the ground.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Haemodoraceae (bloodwort) family.
  • Native to Australia. Related genera include Conostylis, Lachnanthes, Xiphidium.
  • It is reported in the literature that all species of kangaroo paw except one belong to the genus Anigozanthos. The only exception is Macropidia fuliginosa. However, this latter species could not be confirmed in the taxonomic authority being used for this Internet site. Namely, according to The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening, this species does not exist.
Personality:
  • Flowers are wooly, tubular with a reflexed lip, 1-3 inches long, in clusters resembling kangaroo toes.
  • Stems up to 3 feet long, classed as a monocotyledon, leaves mostly parallel veined.
  • Plant is a herbaceous perennial from a thick rootstock.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Red/green, yellow/green, yellow/orange, red.
Storage Specifics: This species has been shown to be somewhat chilling sensitive. Therefore, it should be stored between 36-40F, wet or dry, up to 2 weeks. It is better if they are held for one week or less. Treat with a registered fungicide before storage so as to help control Botrytis.
Tidbits:
  • The scientific name is from the Greek words "anoigo" (to open) and "anthos" (flower), referring to the widely open flowers.
Recent Findings: Jones and Faragher (1991) determined that the following species and cultivars can only be stored a maximum of two weeks at 34F: A. pulcherrimus (a yellow flowered species) and A. spp. 'Ruby Delight', 'Bush Harmony', 'Bush Haze' and 'Gold Fever'.
Personal Experiences: From Lianne Moore: Using deep water will help flowers rehydrate more efficiently.