Until recently, the only place you would have seen a kangaroo paw like this was in the wild, in Western Australia. Then the plant hybridists worked their magic and made it a much easier plant to propagate and to grow in garden conditions while losing none of its extraordinary beauty. The flowers really are something magical, shaped like paws or birds’ beaks, depending on their stage of opening, with an unusual colour combination of pale greeny-yellow and black. This, and the long black stems, makes them superb cut flowers and they last for a long time in a vase. Just the thing to go with a modern dining room or kitchen décor.
In the garden, Anigozanthos ‘Bush Eclipse’ is a sun lover with a need of well drained soils. Dry conditions are no problem, so it can be planted in tough conditions and it will look after itself. Because it’s a bit of an art statement style of plant, ‘Bush Eclipse’ is great to combine with other plants which set off its distinctive style, such as the dwarf grass Ophiopogon ‘Black Dragon’, which further emphasises the distinctive colouring. Tawny coloured Gazania ‘Montezuma’ and its double flowered cousin, Gazania ‘Sunset Jane’, are also great to grow around this kangaroo paw, or you can go for an all Australian look by planting the prostrate, red flowered, Grevillea ‘Bronze Rambler’.
Anigozanthos ‘Bush Eclipse’ does well in containers too. Here you have the opportunity to make a statement by choosing a distinctive pot - black perhaps, or a yellow-green depending on which portion of the flower you decide to emphasise. Pop in some shiny black stones and little Ophiopogon ‘Black Dragon’ and you’ve got something to make you smile.