The unusual flower color is the obvious attraction when it comes to the pride and joy of the new kangeroo paw series 'Celebrations.' "The colors cannot be found in nature, nor in any other breeding program." But what goes into making the Celebrations series so unique? Jason Scoop, a grower at Poplar Grove Wholesale Nursery in Australia, knows all about the cultivation of this colorful plant.
Jason Scroop between the Celebrations varieties ready to flower.
Versatility and space safer
As a perennial grower, Poplar Grove Wholesale Nursery thought the Celebrations series would suit them rather well, given that they are promoted as cut flowers, gifts, or pot plants. The first trials with the Celebration series were held in April 2021, with the trial production batches beginning in late 2021.
"We grew Bush Gems several years ago but dropped them as we felt it suited other growers better, and we could then concentrate on our core perennial lines. This experience did give us good knowledge on planting times and how best to tackle the crop", Jason explains.
With an existing space already filled with existing crops, the nursery has just graveled a new 1000m2 bed ready for excess production, which had to fit into their normal growing areas. "Being able to grow the crop pot-to-pot for the entire length of production is a huge space advantage for us."
Masquerade. "It's really pioneer breeding. They are not GMOs, but after tones of hard work and a lot of development, there is a blue Anigozanthos while no Anigozanthos species ever noticed to have any tone close to blue."
Uniqueness of the Celebrations
The Celebrations series, currently consisting of 5 varieties, is a brand new series developed by King's Park & Botanic Garden in Perth. Unique about the series is the disease tolerance and the colors of the flowers, which, according to the breeder, cannot be found in nature and are the result of more than 12 years of persisting work. But there is more that is making this series unique, Jason explains.
"The plants are very easy to grow. They grow more like a perennial than other series. They respond well to regular fertilizer, are tolerant of a range of conditions in the nursery, and prefer more water. Besides that, the conditions to grow the plant suit pot culture very well and shows growing conditions similar to other plants. The plant also experiences clean growth and is susceptible to almost no diseases."
Poplar Grove Wholesale Nursery is located in the very warm and dry climate zone of South Australia. Jason mentioned that they get the best coloring during the cooler months. Though they have grown them successfully during the summer (where temperatures can be between 35 and 45 degrees) as well, the color was not as intense, especially with the Anigozanthos Celebrations' Carnivale'.
Discovering more colors
"The unusual flower color is the obvious attraction. The flowers show up well on social media, and the hype of the blue Kangaroo Paw (Masquerade) saw a rise in demand that well outweighed the supply", he says. So it should come as no surprise that further color varieties in the future are being worked on.
According to Jason, "early trials of new colors are promising. It seems there are plenty of undiscovered colors out there."
Eager to see these plants in real life? Marathon Plants, the company that is involved in the selection and represents genetics in Europe, will be presenting the series at this event from June 14-17. Click here for more information and to register.
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