Truly blue kangaroo paws hit Perth shelves

The groundbreaking blue kangaroo paw is now available for purchase at nurseries around Perth.

After nearly a decade of research, breeders at the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority officially launched blue kangaroo paws in shades called masquerade, cocktail, firework and carnival.

This new development in West Australian native flowers delivers a higher tolerance to diseases such as ink-spot and rust, two common issues when growing kangaroo paws.

Blue ‘masquerade’ kangaroo paws at Zanthorrea Nursery in Maida Vale. Photo: Elliahn Blenkinsop.

Senior plant breeder at Kings Park Botanic Gardens Digby Growns says they achieved a disease tolerance by cross-pollination.

The breeding program began in 2007 and aims to create flora and hybridisations suitable for gardens that will survive the ever-changing climate.

“Our main aim is really to promote the use our flora or hybrids of our flora, positive environmental outcomes like using less water and fertiliser and really to provide a resilient landscape for what’s coming in terms of climate change,” he says.

The view from Kings Park. Photo: Elliahn Blenkinsop.

Zanthorrea nursery manager Ross Hooper says the blue shade ‘masquerade’ is currently only available by joining a waitlist due to its popularity, however, the blue-green shade ‘cocktail’ and other shades are in abundance.

“I would say that the blue kangaroo paw is getting is getting a lot of attention and it is a unique colour and it is a fantastic thing, but Kings Park have also released three other kangaroo paws that have been bred,” he says.

“They also have some really interesting colour and will be good performers as well. So I think they are worth a mention as well.”

Hooper says the blue kangaroo paw will retail at Zanthorrea for $23.45 cents in a 175 mL pot.

The breakthrough with disease prevention and tolerance is the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority’s main aim and other native plants are currently undergoing research to get a similar outcome such as wax flower and boronia.

Currently in Australia 12 native plant species are considered extinct and 21 are considered possibly extinct, however, the number of endangered native species has reached 206.

Blue kangaroo paws will reach more shelves around Perth in the next few weeks.

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