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This Day in History

Australian History

Wednesday, November 9, 1960. :   The Red and Green Kangaroo Paw is proclaimed the floral emblem of Western Australia.

     The Kangaroo Paw is a type of low-growing shrub native to Western Australia. This unusual plant gained its name by the apparent resemblance of its cluster of unopened flowers to a kangaroo's paw, being long and slender, like the forepaw of a kangaroo.

There are just twelve species of the genus 'Anigozanthos' to which the Kangaroo Paw belongs. Preferring sandy soil, in their native state they are found throughout southwest Western Australia, in the north around Geraldton and on the Swan Coastal Plain near Perth.

The Kangaroo Paw was first collected and described by French botanist Jacques-Julian Houton de Labillardiere near Esperance in 1792. On 9 November 1960, the Red and Green Kangaroo Paw, also known as Mangles' kangaroo paw, was proclaimed as the floral emblem of Western Australia. The announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor of Western Australia, His Excellency The Honourable Sir John Dwyer.

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