Anigozanthos ‘Bush Endeavour’ is a tall, red flowered kangaroo paw that I bred about 10 years ago. I did that in response to what I perceived was a demand for a tougher, more long-lived landscape-type kangaroo paw.
Many people have tried the dwarf kangaroo paws, which are prolific flowerers and very spectacular plants but, because of their breeding, they tend to be very short-lived in the heat and humidity that combine on the east coast of Australia that cause frustration for the gardeners that want to grow western Australian plants. In the drier climates of Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, the dwarf kangaroo paws tend to perform much better but I find in Sydney that very good drainage and plenty of sun are essential for any reasonable life span.
However the tall kangaroo paws, of which ‘Bush Endeavour’ is a good example, are a totally different proposition. They behave a bit more like an agapanthus, being tough, long-lived, virtually unkillable garden plants. There is very little that stops them.
I bred ‘Bush Endeavour’ as part of a series called the ‘Bush Gems Landscapers’. Along with Bush Endeavour’, there’s a golden variety called ‘Bush Pioneer’, and an orange one called ‘Bush Revolution’. All three are equally resilient in the garden, They have long strappy leathery dark green leaves, spectacular up to 2 metre high branched flower stems that make fantastic cut flowers as well as being real bird magnets.
‘Bush Endeavour’ has bright red flowers and it can be used as a real feature in the garden. When it’s not in flower, it also has its dark green, robust, glossy leathery leaves.
One of the really important things about the Bush Gem Landscapers is that they can be cleaned up very easily at the end of the flowering season by cutting off the whole top of the plant down to ground level, leaving all the shoots below ground for next year’s flowering in the underground stem called a rhizome.
Each fan of leaves that forms will have one flower stem, and then when that flower stem has died back, so do the associated leaves in that leaf fan. They will tend to turn black as they die off, leaving a fairly unsightly looking plant. They is why, with the Bush Gem Landscapers in particular, I recommend pruning back to ground level with hedge shears, secateurs or whipper snipper – whatever tool is available to you.
Plant ‘Bush Endeavour’ in a spot where it can keep going, as I’ve known them to last 20 years in the garden and they can easily be reinvigorated every few years by lifting the clump and dividing it up. Not only does this give you lots more plants, it also keeps the clump looking fresh and with lots of flowers. You can have maybe 80-100 flower stems on a mature clump after 3 to 4 years.
Bush Gem Landscapers and ‘Bush Endeavour’ – a bright red kangaroo paw that just keeps on keeping on!