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Anigozanthos manglesii
Anigozanthos manglesii gnangarra-1007.jpg
Scientific classification
Genus:
Anigozanthos
Species:
manglesii
Anigozanthos manglesii Haemodoraceae13.png
Occurrence data from AVH

Anigozanthos manglesii, commonly known as the red-and-green kangaroo paw, Mangles kangaroo paw, Kurulbrang (Noongar), is a plant species endemic to Western Australia, and the floral emblem of that state.

The flower has become symbolic of the region. The display between August and November is remarkable for the high standing flowers occurring in urban and coastal regions. The species is not threatened, but is protected under state legislation. A license is required for collection from the wild. It is desirable as a cut flower, possessing an unusual form and striking colours that last well.

Description

A member of the Anigozanthos genus, Anigozanthos manglesii is a rhizotomous perennial with long, grey-green linear leaves around 30 to 60 cm long. The leaves extended from a central point at ground level. Its red and green flowers appear at the end of long stalks between August and November. The flowers display in a sequence from the lowest point, those following are in a progression of development. The spent flower-stalks may remain well after their season. The length of these stalks from the base is up to 1200 mm tall.

Distribution

Kangaroo paws darling range
Anigozanthos manglesii in bushland on the Darling Scarp.
Anigozanthos manglesii gnangarra-1002
Anigozanthos manglesii late stages of the bud
Kangaroo paw 260920 gnangarra 15 years-101
Anigozanthos manglesii the part of the plant from its common name is derived - kangaroo paw

The species is widely distributed throughout the Southwest Australian biogeographic regions, preferring white, yellow or grey sand, or sandy loam. The occurrence is confirmed in the northernmost part of its range in the Geraldton Sandplains and the Swan Coastal Plain near Perth. Extensive records also exist of occurrence in Jarrah Forest and Warren region to the south, but not reaching the southern coasts. It extends inland to the Avon Wheatbelt.

Taxonomy

The species was first described by a Scottish botanist David Don in 1834 from the type specimen:

This singularly beautiful species of Anigozanthos was raised in the garden at Whitmore Lodge, Berks., the seat of Robert Mangles, Esq. from seeds brought from Swan River by Sir James Stirling, the enterprising governor of that colony, by whom they had been presented to Mr. Mangles.

There are two recognised subspecies as follows:

  • Anigozanthos manglesii subsp. quadrans Hopper
Distribution of the subspecies is as far north as Shark Bay, variation in habit and structure of the subspecies is otherwise discrete.
  • Anigozanthos manglesii D.Don subsp. manglesii
Wide occurrence as far north as Gingin and to Cape Leeuwin in the south.

Anigozanthos manglesii is known to hybridize naturally with other Anigozanthos species:

  • A. viridis – progeny have been named Anigozanthos manglesii var. × angustifolius Lindl. and Anigozanthos manglesii var. × virescens Ostenf.
  • A. bicolor
  • A. kalbarriensis
  • A. humilis

Cultivars

Anigozanthos manglesii is often artificially hybridized with A. flavidus and to a lesser extent A. rufus. Cultivars include:

  • Autumn Mystery - A. manglesii x A. flavidus
  • Big Red - A. manglesii x A. flavidus
  • Bush Emerald - A. manglesii x A. flavidus
  • Hickman’s Delight - A. manglesii x A. flavidus
  • Rogue Radiance - (A. manglesii x A. rufus) x A. flavidus
  • Space Age - A manglesii x A. flavidus
  • Sue Dixon - (A. manglesii x A. rufus) x A. flavidus

Cultivation

In temperate regions this plant is either grown under glass or outdoors with the winter protection of a mulch. The species germinates readily from seed. As plants generally deteriorate after the second season, they are best treated as biennial. Watering should be withheld during the dormant period. They are susceptible to fungal ink spot disease and the leaves are attractive to snails. They are often used as cut flowers, due to their unique appearance and lasting qualities.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Symbolic and artistic references

Western Australian Coat of Arms
Coat of arms of Western Australia
See also: Coat of arms of Western Australia

In November 1960, Anigozanthos manglesii was adopted as the floral emblem of Western Australia in a proclamation made by then Premier of Western Australia David Brand.

It also appears on the armorial bearings of that state, framing the crown in the Coat of arms. This is given to denote the sovereignty and independence of Western Australia. The blazon reads:

And for Crest: On a Wreath Or and Sable The Royal Crown between two Kangaroo Paw (Anigosanthos [sic] Manglesii) flowers slipped proper.

A red and green kangaroo paw superimposed over a scene of Perth was depicted on a 5 pence on a 1962 Australian stamp issue designed by R. M. Warner to mark the British Empire and Commonwealth Games held in Perth that year. In 1968 another stamp issue, designed by Nell Wilson, showed the red and green kangaroo paw as part of a series on state floral emblems.

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