The Velvet Touch - Anigozanthos 'Amber Velvet'

|Anigozanthos 'Amber Velvet' bloom detail|

|Anigozanthos 'Amber Velvet' bloom detail|

Nature is full of many curiosities.  Some of them possess a beauty that can only be experienced upon further examination.  What seems, perhaps, ordinary from afar becomes extraordinary close up.  Here we have a luscious blend of vibrant color and tantalizing texture.  The form is somewhat unfamiliar yet it stimulates an exotic excitement.  This is not your everyday flower.  It's a new sort of botanical geometry that makes us consider a new kind of beauty.  This is the beauty of Australia's Anigozanthos 'Amber Velvet' commonly called Kangaroo Paw 'Amber Velvet'.  The flowers of Anigozanthos 'Amber Velvet' resemble fuzzy tubular 'paws' that split open at the end to reveal a chamber overflowing with nectar.  The flowers are covered in plush, colorful yellow and red fuzzy fleece which blend to create a warming amber tone. Amber signifies change and strength.  In the case of these amazing flowers, I feel like they introduce an element of spiciness.  A visual spiciness full of vivid color and fashionable flavor!

|Anigozanthos 'Amber Velvet' form + flower +foliage|

|Anigozanthos 'Amber Velvet' form + flower +foliage|

Anigozanthos 'Amber Velvet' grows as a clumping perennial with strap-like leaves that grow up to 18 inches tall as a fountain-like form of foliage in fan-shaped arrangements.  In spring and early summer, greenish canes covered with colorful fuzz tipped with tubular buds rise 3 to 4 feet upward.  The small buds lengthen and swell until their tips split open and bend back with a 6 petaled formation to reveal a well of sweet nectar that the hummingbirds will fight you for.  These stems of bloom make amazing cut flowers.  Anigozanthos 'Amber Velvet' likes full to part sun, well-draining soil, low to regular water, later becoming drought tolerant when established, and is hardy down to 25 degrees fahrenheit/-4 degrees celsius.  Plants benefit from the removal of old canes, when the long lasting blooms have faded, as well as the removal of old leaves to promote growth the following year.  One thing to note, once a fan of foliage sends up a cane and blooms, that's it, it won't bloom again.  A new fan will have to develop to present a new cane of bloom for future seasons.  After an early spring cut back and clean up, fertilize plants with a balanced fertilizer to encourage abundant foliage and cane growth.  This plant looks amazing grown in drifts, clumped elegantly in individual islands of growth, or in a container.  The look is exotic, exciting, and voluptuously vivid!