August 2020 – Kangaroo Paw

Kangaroo Paw (Haemodoraceae)

Kingdom:  Plantae

Family:  Haemodoraceae

Genus:  Anigozanthos

The Kangaroo Paw flowers are pollinated by birds. The long flower-stalks usually rise above the undergrowth and ‘advertise’ the presence of nectar in the flowers. The stalks also provide a perch for visiting birds. 

The shape of the flowers and the position of the pollen-bearing anthers is a feature which allows pollen to be deposited on the head of the feeding birds. This pollen is transferred from flower to flower as the birds feed.

Different species usually deposit pollen on different areas of the birds’ head. This means that pollen from one species is unlikely to be deposited in the flowers of another species.

The WA floral emblem is the striking red and green Kangaroo Paw.

Thanks Wikipedia and Newsletter Editor Sue

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