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What is a kangaroo paws plant?

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Quick Answer

Kangaroo paws is a plant native to western Australia with flowers that resemble kangaroo paws. It is grown in home gardens and as a houseplant. A member of the genus Anigozanthos, the kangaroo paws plant is also known as cats' paw, monkey's paw and the Australian sword lily.

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What is a kangaroo paws plant?
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Full Answer

Kangaroo paws range in size from 9 inches to 6 feet tall, depending on the variety. Flower colors vary from bright red and pink to black, green and yellow. The plant flowers in summer, spring or late summer. The flowers extend above the plant on a long stem, and the plant is often grown for cut flowers.

Kangaroo paws is a tropical plant that grows in the U.S. in zones 9 and up, or it must be wintered indoors. It grows in well-drained soil, in a sunny location. It does not need excessive water, making it a good companion plant to grow with succulents. The plant is resistant to most pests, but it is prone to a fungus called ink disease that causes dark patches on the leaves. After the plant flowers, the leaves should be cut back to the ground to encourage flowering the following season.

Some popular varieties include the Mangle's kangaroo paw, which is a symbol of Western Australia, and Christmas paws, a variety with green and red flowers.

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