Kangaroo paw is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia, but it has been widely cultivated in all cities of Australia. The scientific name of the plant is AnigozanthosThese perennial plants are noted for their bird attracting flowers. The tubular flowers are coated with dense hairs and open at the apex with six claw-like structures like the ‘kangaroo paw’.

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The inflorescence of flowers look like kangaroo paws
images
The paws of a kangaroo foot (https://www.flickr.com/groups/872976@N23/pool/msbell/ (Kangaroo paws by Marika Bell)
kangaroo-paw-8277732 (1)
The paws of kangaroo (http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-kangaroo-paw-image8277732 (Kangaroo paw by Meike Marks)

The flowers have 6 tepals (fusion of sepals and petals) join together to form a tepal tube. 6 stamens are present at the orifice (outer opening) of the tube. The ovary is inferior, ie its position is lower than the other floral parts. The ovary has three-chambered with many ovules (2 to 100) per chamber. 

 

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The 6 tubular flowers look like the paws of a kangaroo. Furthermore, 6 stamens are present at the orifice (outer opening) of the perianth tube.

 

The perianth tube has been cut longitudinally into two halves to show the long style and the inferior ovary
The perianth tube has been cut longitudinally into two halves to show the long style and the inferior ovary

 

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The 6 stamens as seen under the microscope

 

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Longitudinal section of the ovary showing the chambers with many ovules inside
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Transverse section of the ovary showing 3 chambers with many ovules inside

 

The leaves are flat and long.

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The leaves are flat and long.

 

Botanical Drawings :

 

Anigozanthos manglesii, i. inflorescence and lower part of leaf, k, opened flower,
Anigozanthos manglesii, i. inflorescence and lower part of leaf, k, opened flower

 

3
Anigozanthos flavidus, Anigozanthos manglesii
stamp 300
6c Kangaroo Paw. Emblem of Western Australia. Designer: Nell Wilson. One of the 6 Native Flowers (definitives). Issued July 10, 1968.

Bibliography :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_paw

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-kangaroo-paw-image8277732  (Kangaroo paw by Meike Marks)

https://www.flickr.com/groups/872976@N23/pool/msbell/ (Kangaroo paws by Marika Bell)

Morley, B.D. & Toelken, H.R. (1983) Flowering Plants in Australia,  Rigby Publishers (ISBN 0 7270 1477 3

Blombery, A. M (1973) What Wildflower is That? Summits Book (ISBN 0 7271 0109 9)

Cronin, Leonard (1987), Key Guide to Australian Wildflowers  Reed (ISBN 0 7301 0191 6)

 

 

 

 

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