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Clianthus puniceus, Kaka Beak, Parrot Beak, Lobster Claw

Clianthus puniceus

Kaka Beak, Parrot Beak, Lobster Claw
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Origin: New Zealand
Large shrub 5-10 ftFull sunRegular waterWhite/off-white flowersRed/crimson/vinous flowersAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short time

This exotic shrub from New Zealand puts on a magnificent show. Now extinct in the wild, it produces dense masses of bright pink and red showy flowers-up to 15 in a bunch, suspended from arching branches.

It puts on a spectacular show of exotic blooms that look like tropical bird bills! Parrot's Beak is an easy-to-grow bush that grows 4 to 8 feet tall and wide. Throughout Spring, it becomes loaded with big, 3-inch, bright-pink blooms that dangle like earrings from pretty, fern-like foliage. The plant attracts butterflies and hummingbirds - as well as children, who like to feel the thick, waxy blooms resembling pink flamingos! This is an endangered species that is close to extinction in its homeland of New Zealand.

It is a spreading, fast-growing shrub 3'-12' tall with fern like foliage, it tolerates a wide range of soils and withstands some minor frost. Needs protection from heavy frost. The flowers are bird pollinated. It can be cultivated from seeds or cuttings.

Clianthus - from Greek kleios, glory and anthos, flower, meaning glory flower; puniceus - meaning blood red.

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