The other common name of Bird-of-Paradise is Crane flower, and the botanical name is Strelitzia reginae and belongs to Strelitziaceae family. It is related to the banana plant.
Bird-of-paradise was very rarely seen in the Indian gardens in the 80s. It is only in the 90’s that this plant is dotted in most of the gardens. With its uniquely shaped flower and exotic colors, it adds brightness to any corner of the garden. This plant is a native of South Africa and is a perennial. The flower resembles a bird’s head and hence the name “Bird-of-Paradise”.
The leaves are attractive and are green, paddle shaped, and thick about 8 inches long and 6 inches wide. The leaves are large, 30–200 cm long and 10–80 cm broad, like a banana leaf but with a longer petiole and arranged to form a fan-like crown of evergreen foliage. The plant grows to a height of 3 feet and the flower shoots above the leaves. The giant bird-of-paradise plant grows to a height of 30 feet.
The flowers bloom in a horizontal inflorescence rising from a sturdy spathe. The flower comprises of 3 orange petals and 3 blue petals. The flowers can be white too. Each of them open one by one out of the bud as though a bird is in flight. The flowers are pollinated by Sun-birds.
If you want a tropical forest look to your garden, go for the Bird-of-Paradise plants.
Cut flowers are used in arrangements and bouquets as they last for more than two weeks.