This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum Durable Delights, 30 can't-fail, easy-care plants well-adapted to our region.
Amber Velvet kangaroo paw
Anigozathos 'Amber Velvet'
Size: Under 4 feet tall
Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall
Exposure: Full sun
Pruning needs: Remove flower stems after blooming.
Water needs: Once established, water deeply once a week.
Snapshot: A native of Australia (as you might expect), kangaroo paw is a spiky perennial that produces curious flowers resembling furry little "paws" on elongated stems up to 3 feet tall. More frost tolerant than some previously available varieties, Amber Velvet which has golden flowers also has upright, dark green foliage that forms a 2-foot evergreen clump; that makes this drought-tolerant perennial a useful accent among low-growing plants. In addition, the profuse tubular flowers attract bees and beneficial insects. You can see specimens in the Arboretum's South Australian collection on the east end of the University of California, Davis, campus.
For more on Durable Delights, click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu