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STRELITZIA reginae

Image of Strelitzia reginae

Felder Rushing

Family

Strelitziaceae

Botanical Name

STRELITZIA reginae

Plant Common Name

Bird-of-Paradise, Crane Flower

General Description

This is perhaps the ultimate flowering showpiece for frost-free landscapes or a sunny interior room. Bird-of-paradise is a clump-forming, evergreen, subtropical perennial native to South Africa. Its large, bold dark gray-green leaves contrast nicely with its unusual crested flowers. The flower comprises a protruding, pointed, green spathe that gives rise to orange and indigo crests, which resemble exotic bird wings. They arise from tall smooth stems -- crane-like necks -- just above the foliage and appear anytime from late winter to mid-spring, depending on latitude and climate. Cut off old flowers to improve the overall look of the plant clump the rest of the year.

Bird-of-paradise does well in full sun to partial shade, in average to well-drained soil. An organic-rich soil along with frequent liquid feedings in spring and summer lets this perennial plant perform its best. It is a dramatic feature plant that looks great when planted in large masses. It is also suitable for large containers and foundation plantings. Cut flowers to enjoy in vases indoors. Freezes will kill back foliage, but the plant will slowly rejuvenate over 18 to 24 months as long as the winter cold didn't kill the root system.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 14

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Winter

  • Native To

    South Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red, Green, Orange, Indigo

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds

  • Self-Sowing

    No