Clianthus puniceus, Kaka Beak, Parrot Beak, Lobster Claw

Clianthus puniceus

Kaka Beak, Parrot Beak, Lobster Claw
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Origin: New Zealand
USDA Zone: 8-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallFull sunRegular waterRed, crimson, vinous flowersWhite, off-white flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirdsSubtropical or temperate zone plant. Mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

The Clianthus puniceus (Kaka Beak) is a large shrub, capable of growing up to 5-10 feet tall and wide. It is native to New Zealand, now extinct in the wild, producing a dense mass of showy flowers in shades of bright pink and red, up to 15 in a group-suspended from its arching branches with exotic blooms resembling tropical bird bills. This eye-catching flowering shrub is extremely popular and easy to grow, making it a great choice for gardens. Requiring full sun and regular water, it can be grown in USDA Zones 8-11.

This unique species can also attract butterflies and hummingbirds and offers a unique fascination to children, who find its thick, waxy blooms quite remarkable. The Clianthus puniceus is a fast-growing shrub that can tolerate a wide range of soils and can even withstand a few brief cold snaps up to the 30s F, depending on your location. If protecting your mature plant from heavy frost, it's best to plant in a pot and relocate it should temperatures drop to the lower end of its surviving range. To propagate, you can use seeds or cuttings, and overall care is required to ensure a large, vibrant display of colorful blooms.

In conclusion, the Clianthus puniceus is an extraordinary flower that deserves to be celebrated and enjoyed for its lovely blooms and its connection to New Zealand. Providing a magnificent show and popular for its graceful, attractive blossoms, Kaka Beak adds real beauty to your garden.

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