Wednesday, April 23, 2008
This is the first Strelitzia reginae , or Orange Bird of Paradise in my yard. It has 1 flower on it right now. It has a unique flower, resembling a brightly colored bird in flight. Due to the shape of its leaves, it was once classified in the banana family. The plant will grow to a height and width of about five feet. It has a trunkless, clump-forming pattern of growth. The thick, stiff, concave leaves grow to about six inches wide and 18 inches long. They are attached to a long stalk that sometimes reaches five feet in length. Born on the same stalk, the flower is a spectacular blossom. Modified leaves, at the end of the stalk, form canoe-like structures, four to eight inches long, from which flowers emerge. As they open, pointed petals of brilliant orange are contrasted with an arrow shaped tongue of vivid blue.