The bird of paradise, scientific name Strelitzia reginae, is a bushy garden plant in tropical and subtropical areas or an indoor house plant in cool climates. The large impressive flowers are a staple in tropical landscapes.
The bird of paradise is native to the the eastern cape of South Africa. It was introduced to European gardeners in 1777 and has since been spread all over the world. Large plantings can be found all over Southern California.
The way the flower sits on the stem makes it resemble a bird's head. The flowers are often used in cut flower arrangements.
Bird of paradise is a great garden plant for zones 9 to 11. In colder climates it can be grown as a potted patio plant in the spring and summer, indoors when there is a danger of frost.
Full sun produces the most flowers but light shade is tolerated. Use a rich well-draining soil and water frequently, although they can withstand drought conditions.
Propagation is by seed and division of large plants. A plant can take several seasons before it flowers again after being divided.
- PlantzAfrica.com: Strelitzia Reginae
- Floridata: Strelitzia Reginae
- University of Florida: Strelitzia Reginae
strelitzia reginae, tropical flower, crane flower
About this Author
Brian Albert has been in the publishing industry since 1999. He is an expert in horticulture, with a focus on aquatics and tropical plants like orchids. He has successfully run an aquatic plant business for the last five years. Albert's writing experience includes the Greater Portland Aquarium Society newsletter and politics coverage for a variety of online journals.