W&N watercolour in Moleskine 200gsm watercolour Moleskine sketch-book
The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp.
JOHN BERRY, Flight of White Crows
This winter has managed to totally kill off my Strelitzia Regina (due to wet feet and a gardener disregarding instructions not to water it in Winter!), so this is one indigenous wonder that I will not re-introduce to my garden. Tarlton just has far too much frost for many plants that I truly do love, and I’ve been struggling for a couple of seasons with this one now, having to cover it every winter and this time I forgot!
Strelitzia is a genus of five species of perennial plants, native to South Africa. The genus is named after the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, birthplace of Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom. A common name of the genus is bird of paradise flower, because of a supposed resemblance of its flowers to the bird of paradise. In South Africa it is commonly known as a crane flower.
S. reginae is slow-growing and will not bloom until three to five years have passed since germination (though it can exceptionally flower at two years). It flowers only when properly established and division of the plant may affect flowering patterns. The flowers are, however, quite long-lasting once they appear. Peak flowering is in the winter and early spring. There is a yellow-flowered cultivar of this plant known as Mandela’s Gold Strelitzia.
S. reginae is very popular as an ornamental plant. It was first introduced to Europe in 1773, when it was grown at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Since then, it has been widely introduced around the world, including the Americas and Australia, growing well in any area that is sunny and warm. In the United States, Florida and California are the main areas of cultivation, due to their warm climate.
Info from Wikipedia