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Anigozanthos: The paws of a kangaroo

Photo by hcast
Photo by hcast
Anigozanthos flavidus is a plant belonging to the Haemodoraceae family commonly called kangaroo paws, and from this it is clear that it is native to the southwestern corner of Australia. Furthermore it is a perennial, evergreen specimen that grows from a short horizontal rhizome. Typically it has a basal rosette shape (up to 7 cm in height and equally wide), with thin, arched, belt-shaped, medium green leaves and each 7 cm in length and 5 in width. From the latter, leafless flowering stems rise that can reach a height of between 30 and 180 centimeters, with panicles of greenish-yellow tubular flowers (but sometimes pink or red) that resemble the aforementioned kangaroo legs. The flowers are also covered with velvety hairs, and outside bloom mainly from spring to autumn.

The cultivation of Anigozanthos

Growing Anigozanthos in a garden therefore in an outdoor setting is very easy, since it is a winter-resistant plant that grows well both in full sun and in dim light. However, it is essential to create beds with rich, uniformly moist, well-drained and preferably sandy soils. Among other things, this plant is very afraid of icy gusts of wind, so adequate protection is recommended to prevent stems from breaking due to the decidedly large length. As regards the watering, it must be said that they must be regular but always respectful of the humidity factor, as the excess of water could cause the root system to rot irremediably. On the sidelines, it is also important to underline that if the green context is located in a very rainy area, to optimize the drainage of the soil it is advisable to add vermiculite or peat tablets (whole or chopped) or gravel.

Diseases and treatments

Cultivating Anigozanthos does not create many problems since the diseases this plant can incur are rather minimal, but it is still susceptible to attacks by aphids and in particular to powdery mildew. The latter is a fungal disease that affects a wide variety of plants, and when the spores begin to take over, a clearly visible layer of mold forms on the upper part of the leaves. Powdery mildew can, among other things, slow down the growth of the plant and, if the infection is serious enough, it will redefine its yield in terms of lush flowering. To avoid using chemical fungicides, however, available in nurseries and on the best online stores that sell gardening products, you can opt for do-it-yourself substances such as sodium bicarbonate which, diluted in water, is sprayed on the affected parts. from powdery mildew.

Curiosity

Anigozanthos is the name of this botanical genus which derives from the Greek words anoigo which means to open and anthos which stands for flower. Having said that, it should be emphasized that although the plant has flowers erect on very long stems, this does not preclude the possibility of cutting them and displaying them in a home centerpiece. On the sidelines it should also be added that Anigozanthos is an attractive ornamental flowering plant, and therefore ideal for enriching a verdant setting with colors, be it a lawn, a flower bed or a border.

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