Anigozanthos humilis

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Anigozanthos humilis
Anigozanthos humilis Gnangarra-11.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Commelinales
Family: Haemodoraceae
Genus: Anigozanthos
Species: A. humilis
Binomial name
Anigozanthos humilis
Lindl.[1]
Synonyms
  • Anigozanthos dorrienii Domin
  • Anigozanthos minimus Lehm.
  • Anigozanthus minima Lehm. nom. inval.

Anigozanthos humilis is a species of Anigozanthos in the family Haemodoraceae, known as common cat's paw or catspaw. This flowering perennial plant is endemic to Southwest Australia and widespread in its open forests.

The species has a basal rosette of long strap-like leaves, emerging at the soil's surface from a rhizome beneath. A raceme of flowers appear at the terminus of long stalks, giving the plant a height up to one metre. The tuberous form of the flower bud is yellow, becoming orange then red at the opening.

A sketch of the vegetation of the Swan River Colony, 1839, John Lindley

The species was first described by John Lindley in the 1840 work A sketch of the vegetation of the Swan River Colony.[2] Three subspecies have also been described and recognised.[3] While the subspecies Anigozanthos humilis subsp. humilis is common, and unthreatened, the rarer subspecies described by Stephen Hopper are listed with a conservation status. Anigozanthos humilis subsp. Badgingarra is listed by the Dept of Environment and Conservation as poorly known.[4] and the subspecies Anigozanthos humilis subsp. chrysanthus, the golden catspaw, has been listed as rare by the same body.[5]

The plant is widely cultivated, and is able to tolerate hot and humid climates, but requires winter protection in temperate regions. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[6]

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