Strelitzia reginae Dryand.

Bird-of-Paradise Flower

A variable evergreen clumping slightly waxy blue-green perennial mostly 1-1.5 m tall but of various sizes. Leaves to about 1.5 m long; blade oblong-lanceolate, to about 40 cm long, 20 cm wide; stalk to 1 m long, not grooved. Flowers produced in succession from a single green or purplish spathe about 10 cm long; winter to spring. Sepals usually orange and petals bluish.

South Africa

var. juncea (Link) Ker Gawl. Leaf blades absent giving plant a rush-like appearance.

var. parvifolia (W.T. Ait.) Anon. Leaf blades small, lanceolate, paddle-like. [S. parvifolia Aiton.]


S. alba (L. f.) Skeels, White Strelitzia is occasionally grown in public gardens; it is a large plant with a strong dichotomous trunk and may be up to 8-10 m tall, the large leaves generally split into ribbons. The sepals and petals are white, lacking the blue present in other species. [S. augusta Wright].

The similar S. nicolai Regel & Koern. is another irregularly flowering species that is also occasionally encountered in public gardens.

Source: Spencer, R. (2005). Strelitziaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Zingiberales
family       Strelitziaceae
genus        Strelitzia Dryand.