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Gardening

Kangaroo paw, Anigozanthos ‘Bush Endeavour’

Angus Stewart

Angus Stewart

May 18, 2012

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 demandĀ for a tougher, more long-lived landscape-type kangaroo paw.

Kangaroo paw 'Bush Endeavour' is an beautiful, tough, low maintenance landscaping plant

Kangaroo paw ‘Bush Endeavour’ is an beautiful, tough, low maintenance landscaping plant

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.

Rich red flowers of the tall-growing kangaroo paw, Anigozanthos 'Bush Endeavour'

Rich red flowers of the tall-growing kangaroo paw, Anigozanthos ‘Bush Endeavour’

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.

Kangaroo paw 'Bush Pioneer' is a tall-growing, long-lived landscaping plant with golden flowers

Kangaroo paw ‘Bush Pioneer’ is a tall-growing, long-lived landscaping plant with golden flowers

 

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.

Kangaroo paw Anigozanthos 'Bush Revolution' has vivid orange flowers

Kangaroo paw Anigozanthos ‘Bush Revolution’ has vivid orange flowers

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.

Kangaroo paw 'Bush Endeavour' can produce up to 100 flowering stems on a mature clump

Kangaroo paw ‘Bush Endeavour’ can produce up to 100 flowering stems on a mature clump

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!

 

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sandra
sandra
11 years ago

Are these Kangaroo Paw Bush varieties OK for coastal areas?

Angus Stewart
Angus Stewart
11 years ago

Thanks for your kind words Robyn. Watch this space as I am getting rady to release a whole series of new colours of tall and tough kangaroo paws under my new Gardening With Angus plant range.
Cheers
Angus

Angus Stewart
Angus Stewart
11 years ago

Hi Sandra Yes Bush Endeavour is definitely suitable for coastal areas although it would probably show leaf blackening if planted right on the beach. As long as it is not getting directly blasted by salt laden winds it will thrive.
Cheers
Angus

Malinda
Malinda
10 years ago

I live in Perth, WA, and have a front garden with many kangaroo paws planted in sandy soil. We have only just purchased the house so I do not know their age or variety. Should they be flowering this time of year? Some of the leaves look like they have black spot. When is the best time to prune them to the ground?

Angus Stewart
Angus Stewart
10 years ago
Reply to  Malinda

Hi Malinda
Sorry for the delay in my reply. Spring gets very hectic for horticulturists, but better late than never I hope. August is not unusual for flowering for the smaller kangaroo paws. Blackening of the foliage is something that all kangaroo paws suffer from. As the leaves die they turn black and are best removed at that stage. The taller varieties (ones that have flower stems taller than a metre) can be cut to the ground after they finish flowering. The shorter varieties (which it sounds like you have at least partly) can sometimes suffer badly from a complete cutback and it may even kill them. What is better in this instance is to prune out the old leaves and flower stems one at a time. A bit laborious but a much safer option for the long term health of the plant. Good luck.

Malinda
Malinda
10 years ago
Reply to  Angus Stewart

Thank you Angus, very helpful. The majority are the tall, red flowering kangaroo paws, which are now in full bloom. Thanks again.

Doug Baskerville
Doug Baskerville
10 years ago

Where can I obtain Kangaroo Paw from on the Central Coast? We are on acreage and need something hardy and colourfull

Angus Stewart
Angus Stewart
10 years ago

Hi Doug
Sorry for the delayed reply. I have been flat out with spring. AS it happens I live on the Central Coast and if you want quantity I can arrange something for you at a very economical price. Please email me direct at angus@gardeningwithangus.com.au
Cheers
Angus

Kevin
Kevin
10 years ago

Hi Angus,

We live on 1.5 a just out of Gympie Qld, we have planted a few Kangaroo paws and have watched your video on the Bush Endeavour range a and wish to purchase some, is there a supplier in the sunshine coast area that you are aware of. I have tried searching but almost all the time I end up with your web site.
Any help appreciate,

Cheers, Kevin

Angus Stewart
Angus Stewart
10 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Hi Kevin
Have you tried Nielsen’s Native Nursery in Brisbane. Tell them I sent you and ask them if they can get it in for you if they do not have it in stock.
Best regards
Angus

Kevin
Kevin
10 years ago
Reply to  Angus Stewart

Thanks Angus will try them have a good Christmas

Kevin
Kevin
10 years ago
Reply to  Angus Stewart

Thanks for the info Angus we picked up a few bush endeavours on the weekend what fertilizer do you recomend for the bush endeavour range?
Again thanks for your assistance, Kevin

cheryl
cheryl
9 years ago

Hi I live in Sydney, where can I purchase this variety of plant from?

regards
cheryl

Ron
Ron
6 years ago

I live in the hot desert in Gold Canyon, Arizona, USA. We are plagued by wild rabbits that eat all but the most hardy plants. Are Kangaroo Paws rabbit resistant?

Catherine Stewart
Admin
6 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Hi Ron – in Australia, wild rabbits will eat kangaroo paws when the plants are small. They start eating at the leaf tip and work their way down until it gets too tough and fibrous to be palatable. I found that if I protected the new plants for a few months with a chicken wire surround held in place by bamboo stakes until the KPs grew taller, then they didn’t get eaten. I think it’s because the tasty new growth comes up in the centre of the clump so, as the plant gets bigger and more established, the rabbits can’t reach it.

Robyn
11 years ago

I discovered the joys of the Landscapers series of Paws about 2 years ago after many attempts with the Bush Paws Dwarfs and no success. Well done Angus it is a tough one – I live in Brisbane and work at a major nursery – so it is good to have one that works.

Robyn