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Strelitzia reginae

Strelitzia reginae Aiton

 

Bird of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise, Crane Flower

ParentsUnknownGenus is not in the current taxonomy
GenusStrelitziaAfter Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744-1818) who married King George III in 1761
SpeciesreginaeOf the queen

About plant names...

These beautiful but bizarre plants are native to South Africa, from Cape Province to KwaZulu-Natal. They are not found in the wild in North America. It was introduced to central and tropical South America, where it is cultivated as a popular garden plant. There is a reason for the strange shape. Bird-of-paradise is pollinated by birds, which land on the spathe and flower. This causes the stamens to protrude and paint pollen on the birds.

Identification: Plants are 3-6½' (1-2 m) tall, stemless, forming clumps. Leaves are oblong or lanceolate, 9-30" (22-75 cm) × 1¾-6" (5-15 cm), bluish- or grayish-green, leathery, arranged in fan-like groups. They appear on long petioles up to 3' (1 m) in length. Flowerheads are on erect stocks above the leaves, with a horizontal bract up to 9" (22 cm) long that looks like a crane’s bill. Several orange flowers open one at a time from May to December; flowers are 3½-6" (9-15 cm) across. In addition to the orange portion there are a set of inner fused petals that are deep blue in color. They fuse into a sharp point, a nectar dispenser. Seeds are round, black to brown, with a little yellow tuft of hairs. The overall effect is unmistakable: that of a bird’s head and beak.

Online References:

Strelitzia reginae on pza.sanbi.org

Strelitzia reginae at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Strelitzia reginae at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Strelitzia reginae on Wikipedia

References:

Fayaz, Ahmed, Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants: Identification and Cultivation of Over 3000 Tropical Plants, Firefly Books, 2011, p. 307

Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise, Crane Flower)

2/26/2010 · Bob & Celeste’s, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.5 cm)

Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise, Crane Flower)

8/31/2013 · Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA
≈ 15 × 10" (37 × 25 cm)

Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise, Crane Flower)

8/31/2013 · Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 21 cm)

Strelitzia reginae description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 12 Oct 2018.

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Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise, Crane Flower)

2/24/2010 · Bob & Celeste’s, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 13 × 9" (33 × 22 cm)

Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise, Crane Flower)

2/24/2010 · San Diego (Quail) Botanic Garden, Encinitas, CA

Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise, Crane Flower)

2/26/2010 · Bob & Celeste’s, Carlsbad, CA
≈ 18 × 12" (45 × 30 cm)

Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise, Crane Flower)

8/31/2013 · Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA
≈ 19 × 12" (47 × 31 cm)

Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise, Bird-of-paradise, Crane Flower)

2/24/2010 · Bob & Celeste’s, Carlsbad, CA

Range: Zones 10-12:

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