Bird of Paradise
Also known as
Crane Flower, Canna-Leaved Strelitzia, Bird of paradise flower, Crane lily
Photo by CassandrasPlants (All rights reserved)
This plant has no fragrance
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Bird of Paradise Overview
Strelitzia reginae is a striking evergreen perennial species from the Strelitziaceae family. Originating from South Africa, this plant is now grown all over the world, and it has become one of the most popular horticultural perennials in cultivation. Its oblong, grey-green leaves are borne on long stalks and it flowers for long periods during winter and spring, producing vivid orange and bright purple-blue inflorescences. These emerge from a beak-like spathe, resembling flying birds. It is an ideal pot plant and makes lovely, long-lasting cut flowers. Strelitzia reginae is also known by the names Bird of Paradise and Crane Flower, after its spectacular blooms. It adds interest and an exotic feel to most garden styles and is ideal for Meditteranean and sub-tropical themed gardens. It likes a sheltered position in a sunny or partially shaded position and rich, loam-based, well-drained soil. It isn't hardy, so can only be grown outside in the summer, in cooler climates. Indoors, place on a south- or west-facing windowsill or keep in a warm conservatory. Protect from very hot sun however, and keep well-ventilated in warm weather. Water regularly and apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly when in growth and add a dressing of new soil every year. Repot every couple of years. This species has earned a coveted Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.
Bird of Paradise Companion Plants
Plant with shrubs and trees or as a stand-alone specimen.
How to propagate Bird of Paradise
Sow in spring/summer.
Divide suckers in spring.
Special features of Bird of Paradise
Sunbirds may be the pollinators, but this is unproven and other birds eat and disperse the seeds.
Can be grown in large pots.
Once established, the plants are drought tolerant.
Other uses of Bird of Paradise
Highly ornamental flowers. One features on the reverse of the South African 50 cent coin!
Used in landscaping as an architectural plant and focal point.
The flowers are grown commercially and used in the cut flower industry.