Featured in ENCHANTED FLOWERS – May 9, 2012
Strelitzia, bird-of-paradise or crane flower (Strelitzia reginae) 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.
The herbaceous plant derives its common names from the unique flower it bears, which resembles a brightly colored bird in flight. The leathery leaves are held upright on stiff leafstalks and are about 6 inches wide and 18 inches long. The plant forms a 3- to 5-foot-tall clump.
The showy bloom is actually a combination of blue petals and orange sepals that emerge from a beak-like bract (modified leaf). Blooms appear intermittently most of the year. Healthy, mature plants can produce as many as three dozen flower spikes a year, which will last up to two weeks when cut.
Photographed on Maui, Hawaii, USA