Bird Of Paradise

Strelitzia spp.

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This small but distinctive genus comprises 5 evergreen, clumping perennials from South Africa. Foliage is large and glossy, resembling that of banana plants from the genus Musa. Large, long-stalked leaves form a "trunk" that can grow up to 10 m tall. Inflorescences consist of horizontal, boat-shaped spathes, from which colourful, crest-like flowers arise sequentially. These plants are commonly grown as ornamental houseplants, and are particularly long-lasting when cut. Perhaps the more well known species is S. reginae, or the Crane Flower.
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Planning

Difficulty

Advanced

Flowering time

Winter, Spring

Fruiting time

Summer

Propagation

Division

Divide strong plants in cool weather.

Seed

Sow in spring/summer.

Special features

Attractive flowers

Attracts birds

Sunbirds may be the pollinators, but this is unproven and other birds eat and disperse the seeds.

Attracts bees

Drought resistant

Once established, the plants are drought tolerant.

Pot plant

Can be grown in large pots.

Special features

Origin

South Africa

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Chalk, Loam, Sand

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Ornamental

Used in landscaping as an architectural plant and focal point.

Floristry

The flowers are grown commercially and used in the cut flower industry.

Personality

Family

Strelitziaceae

Flower colour

Purple, Orange, Blue

Scent

None

Related Problems

Companion plants

Plant with shrubs and trees or as a stand-alone specimens.
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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