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Strelitzia reginae

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Zone 9-10

Bird of Paradise is a very popular icon of the tropical landscape and classic tropical flowers.  The flower gets its name from a tropical bird

There is also a White Bird of Paradise

Native to South Africa, the orange bird grows in clumps to about four feet tall in an expanding cluster. It is related to the Banana and the Traveler's tree. Compare the flowers and note the similarity

This plant likes full sun (with some afternoon shade preferred), high quality organic soil (acidic) that is well drained but kept moist. The reginae prefers lower humidity than Florida's climate so tends to flower better in California's dryer air

Starting with a young plant (3-gallon pot) it may take 3-5 years before the first blooming. Thereafter, blooming improves yearly

Growth over time tends to become dense as more and more stems grow and crowd. Pruning away spent stems is good maintenance. Be watchful when you prune as leaf tips have a small but sharp needle that could poke your eyes

Extremely rare to see in South Florida are Strelitzia reginae var. 'Juncea' and Strelitzia reginae 'Kirstenbosh Gold'