Blue Roo 4 You

A blue kangaroo paw resulting from ground-breaking plant hybridisation research at the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority will be available for commercial release in early 2022.

The ‘Masquerade’ kangaroo paw, the only blue variant world-wide, is the result of almost a decade of development by BGPA plant breeders.

True blue flowers are rare in native plants and the commercial development of the Anigozanthos ‘Masquerade’ kangaroo paw required controlled cross-pollination between green and red-and-green varieties over many years.

“I recall going out into the nursery and seeing the flower for the first time, and it had an absolute wow factor. I immediately knew we had something special,” said BGPA Senior Plant Breeder, Digby Growns.

“The main technique used to produce disease tolerant hybrids is a process called recurrent selection. This breeding system selects the top two to four progeny of each cross rated for the particular attribute being selected for, in this case disease tolerance.”

A limited number of first-release blue kangaroo paws will be available for sale through the Friends of Kings Park in early 2022 before distribution begins at select commercial nurseries.

Philippa inspecting new blue kangaroo paw hybrid
Photo credit: Angela Nikulinsky

Celebrated Western Australian wildflower artist and Parks Ambassador, Philippa Nikulinskywas recently approached by the team at Aspects of Kings Park to paint one of the new Kangaroo Paw hybrids.

A specimen was brought to Philippa’s studio by Digby Growns.

Philippa drew then painted the kangaroo paw from the specimen, with additional photos of root structure.

Philippa’s ‘Masquerade’ kangaroo paw print will be available soon.  More on Philippa’s exquisite work here.

Finished painting on desk
Photo credit: Philippa Nikulinsky AM