Toward the domestication of Kangaroo Paws

Until very recently the history of Kangaroo Paws in cultivation has been one of repeated but largely unsuccessful attempts to cultivate wild species. Only one of twelve such species has provided hardy long-lived plants for cultivation in warm temperate climatic conditions. The major hazard has been “Ink Disease”. Now, following research, the establishment of “in vitro” methods for routine propagation, and the first releases of improved cultivars from systematic breeding programs, Kangaroo Paws may have been set upon the path of domestication as new ornamental plants. This article summarises the main strategies, techniques, and results of a selection, breeding and allied research program.

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