San Marcos GrowersSan Marcos Growers
New User?
Wholesale Login
Enter Password
Home Products Purchase Gardens About Us Resources Contact Us
 Web Site Search
Plant Database
Search by Plant Name
  General Plant Info
Search for any word
  Advanced Search >>
Search by size, origins,
color, cultural needs, etc.
Site Map
Retail Locator
Plant Listings

PLANT TYPE
PLANT GEOGRAPHY
PLANT INDEX
ALL PLANT LIST
PLANT IMAGE INDEX
PLANT INTROS
SPECIALTY CROPS
NEW  2014 PLANTS
PRIME LIST>
  for AUGUST


 Weather Station

 
Products > Strelitzia juncea
 
Strelitzia juncea - Narrow-leafed Bird of Paradise
  

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Strelitziaceae (Bird-of-Paradises)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Orange
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [S. reginae var. juncea, S. parvifolia var juncea]
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 4-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Drought Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Strelitzia juncea (Narrow-leafed Bird of Paradise) - This evergreen perennial slowly forms ever larger clumps of rhizomes from which emerge 4 to 5 foot long bluish-green narrow stalks which are actually leafless petioles - dramatically different from other Strelitzia because these stalks lack the expanded leaf at the end of the petiole. As on the more common bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae), from late fall through late spring appear orange and blue flowers that rise from reed-like, grayish leaf stalks that can reach up to 6 ft. tall. These stalks bear flowers of a most interesting floral structure with hard, beak-like green sheath-like bracts (technically a spathe) held singly at a right angle at the tip of the stalks. From this spathe, which can be 6 to 8 inches long and tinged on the upper surface with a pale pink color, emerge the flowers one at a time to display 3 brilliantly orange colored sepals and 3 blue petals, two of which are fused into a long arrow like structure and the third cupped downward as a nectary. Individual flowers last about a week and the spathe holds 5 to 7 flowers and so are showy over a prolonged flowering period. Plant in full sun or part shade and water only occasionally. This plant is hardy for short duration freezes down to 24 F but flowers and buds may be damaged by freezing temperatures. An interesting and attractive plant for a specimen in the dry garden or in a large pot. The flowers are attractive on the plant and great for cut flower use, lasting up to two weeks. Care should be taken to place this species away from pathways as the leaves radiate outwards and are rigid and pointed enough to possibly be an eye hazard. Previously considered a variety of Strelitzia reginae and in the past but evidence was produced after extensive studies in 1974 by Dr. Hendrik Albertus van de Venter at the University of Pretoria in South Africa that confirmed the specific status of Strelizia juncea. Dr. van de Venter noted that there are genetic differences between S. juncea and S. reginae and that intermediate forms exist that could be hybrids between the two species. This species occurs naturally just north of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape where it grows with Euphorbia, Cotyledon, and Pelargonium and Encephalartos horridus, sure indications of the drought tolerance of this species. The genus name Strelitzia was given to this plant by Sir Joseph Banks in 1733, then the unofficial director of the Royal Gardens at Kew, to honor Queen Sophia Charlotte, the wife of George the 3rd of England, who was the Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and had lived at Kew for many years. The specific name juncea is derived from the Latin word 'juncus' meaning "a rush" is a reference to its rush-like appearance.  This description is based on our research and observations of this plant as it grows in containers at our nursery, in our own garden and in other gardens. We also appreciate receiving feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or have additional cultural tips that would aid others growing Strelitzia juncea .