General Information & Description:
Kangaroo Paw @ Wikipedia
Australian National Botanic Gardens entry
Kangaroo Paw Essence @ Australian Bush Flower Essences
Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos manglesii) Essence by Clare Chapman T/As Baliena Flower Therapies
ABC Gardening Australia Fact Sheet
Other names: Flavidus and manglesii. Also Black Kangaroo Paw (Macropidia fuliginosa)
Where: Native to south-west of Western Australia. Now common nation-wide.
Planetary Correspondence: Venusian ♀ (Lunar)
For Work With:
- Overcoming shyness
- Connecting with people, as well as Place and Her Spirits
- Working with Feminine Spirits (offerings etc.)
- Increase sensitivity, receptiveness to the needs of others
- Increase awareness of Land & its condition, needs
Sometimes the plants we work with are wild, visited in the long walks around our homes. Other times, they the ones we keep at home. In the case of the Kangaroo Paw, this is one I get to talk to daily, on my front verandah. When I first moved into my current home, I bought a dwarf pink variety, one of my first pot plants from a local garden centre. My house is small and generally devoid of a garden, so pot plants are my thing. I like to say I have a green thumb, I’m no expert certainly, but I have a pretty good track record. I particularly like, and am pretty good at, growing native plants. My little pink paw made me doubt my skills altogether.
In the first year, following the blooms that were on this little thing when I purchased it, I thought I would loose it. It is the plant that has inhabited every corner, every room of the house. In front of ever window, I moved it fortnightly, patiently watching it’s progress. Finally, I hit on the sweet spot, cut it back and it bloomed, if only a few stems the following year. I’m petrified of moving it again, though 2 years on it’s a robust specimen and this last spring it flowered with quite the show!
It’s still my most sensitive plant friend. We all go through periods of business and distraction, and if I’ve failed on even the smallest level, too cold, too hot, too little water, too much, and I’ve often suspected even down to, do I owe the Spirits of my Land an offering, the glossy green leaves will start to mope. When I potted my boronia (another Western Australian) notoriously finicky and difficult to grow, it was my Little Pink Paw I turned to, situating the boronia in a place of like sun and water exposure and quite close to the Paw. The boronia never had a problem, and as it settles into it’s second winter, has lovely growth on it still.
The Kangaroo Paw is a plant of balance. Which is probably why it occurs in one of the most florally diverse regions in the country. It will happily live in other places, but the balance must be struck. Happily cold tolerant, but dislikes frost. Craves water regularly, but hates wet feet. Loves the sun, but can burn. Of course, my cultivar is an exaggeration of that nature. Some species are considered alike to annuals, some “short lived”, other “hardy”. Specialists can recommend drastic cutting back using lawnmowers! If this plant has taught me anything it is that we should be receptive to the needs of the individual.
As I showed with my boronia, the paw is my go to for gauging what’s happening in my house, with all the other living things, and what I can do to meet their needs. As such, I began using it for offerings, as cut flowers and included in loose incense to feminine Spirits that govern connections, communication and love. Specifically, I found in terms of the Green Realm it was a fabulous offering for initiating work with other plant spirits in a more subtle way as well. I was interested to read the Australian Bush Flowers Essences (a great resource for those interested in using Native Australian Flora) entry regarding their Kangaroo Paw Essence which they recommend for increased social ability, communication and to aid against shyness. This seemed to make sense to me.
I have seen it recommended for inclusion in works involving romantic love, but I would add these blossoms to bunches for friends we want to connect with on any level. It’s the flower that says “I’m here, and I’m listening.”
Lastly, the Red & Green Kangaroo Paw is the floral emblem of Western Australia. As such, inclusions in work specific to that State for increase and cohesiveness, both in terms social and political, would be recommended.
P.S. ‘K’ is for Kangaroo Paw! This post participates with the Pagan Blog Project!