Amid the floral discoveries on the second day of the wildflower tour, while everything I saw delighted me, the one find that pleased me most was running across an area that was almost exploding with kangaroo paws. Clouds of the flowers crowded among trees and sprawled across open spaces.
Indigenous to this corner of the continent, the kangaroo paw is the state flower of Western Australia, so I was glad to see it for the sake of its importance to the region through which I was traveling. But the other reason I was happy to see it is that it seemed so perfectly Australian—it attracts birds, it reminds some of kangaroos, and best of all, to my mind, for a continent on the opposite side of the world, its colors are “upside down”—it has red stems and green flowers.
There are actually species of kangaroo paw with other colors, such as the black and gold ones I saw later that same day, but it is the red and green variety that is WA’s state flower. Of course, we saw hundreds more flowers as we continued our rambling, but we’ll save those for another post.