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

Throw pillow

  1. 6th May 2014 – FEATURED in Art and Ink so Free
  2. 8th May 2014 – FEATURED in Everyday Women


plants, flower, flowers, painted flowers, crane flower, strelitzia, watercolour, watercolor, nature, garden, country gardens, sketchbook, moleskine, maree clarkson, tarlton, magaliesburg, krugersdorp, gauteng, south africa, strelitzia reginae

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

View Full Profile


  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallalmost 3 years ago

    Lovely! I saw some of them in Nylstroom too, still blooming beautiful!

  • thanks Liz. Mine didn’t even get a chance! the flower was half open and then got blasted by the icy cold! I’ve got half a black and withered flower to show for the whole summer’s pampering!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • - nawroski -
    - nawroski -3 months ago

    Congratulations on your excellent feature with Art and ink so free

    If you wish to view your work here at the group gallery.

  • This is great Andrew! Thank you for the feature, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • evon ski
    evon ski3 months ago

    light and lovely sketch of this wonder of nature. Congrats on your feature!!

  • Thank you very much Evon!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Corri Gryting Gutzman
    Corri Gryting ...3 months ago

    May 8, 2014

    Please click here to join
    us at the new May 8 Permanent Feature Gallery
    and sign the guest book.

    Your Hosts,
    Evita and Corri

  • Thank you for the feature, greatly appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait