Group members: Dom Shuttleworth, Genevieve Dwyer, Ashley Kohler

Plant family: Haemodoraceae

Species: kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos spp.)

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Figures 1 and 2: Development of flower and the floral components, respectively

Table 1: Properties of the Kangaroo Paw

Shape:
Colour:
Tube opening length: (mm)
Tube opening width:
Tube length:
Distance between stigma and anthers:
Distance between carpel and anthers:
Average:
Tube
Red, yellow and green
20.04
11.9
43.62
4.34
32.34
S.D:


1.81
3.08
1.90
0.69
1.27

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Figures 3 and 4: The reproductive organs of the flower - the ovary (left) and pollen grain (right)

Nectar characterisation: We extracted nectar using a capillary tube from one large flower and found it to contain 1.13ul of nectar. The sugar concentraion was 2.5%. However, this is a very small percentage compared to other findings regarding Kangaroo Paw - usually around 20%. The small amount of nectar we obtained for testing because the specimen was quite dry, coupled with diluting the sample to make the reading, could have influenced this reading.

Our findings show that the flowers are most likely pollinated by birds. The bright colours and the orientation of the petals attract the birds and allow them to feed on the nectar. The stalks provide a perch for visiting birds. The position of the anthers allows pollen to be deposited on the head of feeding birds, which is how the Kangaroo Paw achieves cross-pollination. Bees are too large for this flower as they would be stuck in the long, thin tube before reaching the nectar.