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Anigozanthos photo

The Anigozanthos is a small plant genus from the Haemodoraceae Bloodwort family. There are 11 official species of Anigozanthos and several more subspecies and are often referred to as cats paw or kangaroo paw; depending on how the flowers are shaped. Anigozanthos are perennially occurring plants that although they are more suited to sandy, dry areas in the Australian south west; are also found in Israel, Japan, the US and other parts of Australia were they are grown commercially. The plants themselves grow out from horizontally sitting rhizomes underground. The style, look and length varies between species. While some are very fragile; others are more robust and fleshy. The reason the plant survives well in extremely dry conditions is the sap found in its root system. The leaves are usually long and greyish-green or completely green. Some species have particularly hairy leaves. The flowers bloom from leafless stocks that grow out of the basal rosette of leaves and form racemes. Generally the tube-shaped flowers are also covered in hairs making them feel velvety to touch and they are what determine the flower's colour. The flowers of the Anigozanthos can range from bright and striking colours such as red, orange and yellow to almost completely greys and blacks. There are 21 different varieties available in the flower catalogues of the Dutch company Astra Fund, which sell their flowers in bulk.