Clear Mountain Garden Treasures
 

Clear Mountain Garden TreasuresBird of Paradise

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Bird of Paradise
Family Strelitziaceae
Name Strelitzia
Etymology
Strelitzia Named after Charlotte of Mecklenberg-Strelitz, Queen to George III.

Pictures:
Strelitzia reginae
Strelitzia nicolaia
  See also:  Ornamentals, Culture / Germination

This native of South Africa produces unusual looking flowers that resemble the beak and crest of a bird of paradise. The spathe is perpendicular to the flower spike and looks like the beak. As the orange flower sepals open sequentially, they tilt up from the spathe, looking like the crest. The petals are bluish purple.

Both the flowers and the bold leaves are often used in flower arrangements, both lasting a long time when cut. The flowers appear from winter through spring, but can also appear later in the season if the old flowers are cut off.

In South Africa, it is known there as "crane lily". In the wild, this plant is bird pollinated (sunbird). Two of the blue petals are joined together and forms a nectary. When a bird lands to feed on the nectar, its weight triggers the petals to part and pollen is deposited onto the bird's feet.

 Strelitzia reginae


Flower
Name Strelitzia reginae
Etymology
reginae From Latin reginae meaning queen.

 Strelitzia nicolaia

Name Strelitzia nicolaia


Flower

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