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Plant Database Search Results > Strelitzia reginae
 
Strelitzia reginae - 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: Year-round
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise) - This evergreen perennial to 4 to 6 feet tall forms clumps to as wide of long bluish-green leaves that are held erect on 2 to 4 foot long petioles. 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 in a well-draining soil and water occasionally to infrequently - though tropical looking, this plant, once established, is quite tolerant of extended periods without irrigation. It is hardy for short duration freezes down to 24 F but flowers and buds may be damaged by freezing temperatures. Strelitzia reginae plants form a sturdy clump with attractive large glaucus leaves, resembling a small banana, making it a great plant in the garden when even not in flower and it is a dramatic sight when in flower. The flowers are also great for cut flower use, lasting up to 2 weeks in the vase. The common name Bird of Paradise is a reference to the flowers resembling tropical birds with its orange, blue and white flowers looking like a bird's stiff tail feathers. Though this common name is typically used here in the US and in England, in South Africa it is commonly known as Crane Flower. It is a common sight in southern California and is the official floral emblem of the City of Los Angeles. 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 epithet also honors her as it comes from the Latin word 'regina' meaning "queen".  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Strelitzia reginae.