Strelitzia caudata R.A.Dyer
Mountain Strelitzia, Wild Banana, Transvaal Wild Banana, African Desert Banana
Color: White and bluish
Bloom Time: Fall to winter
Strelitzia caudata is a multi-stemmed plant that grows up to 19.7 feet (6 m) tall with a stem diameter of up to 6 inches (15 cm). Stems are unbranched. The older stems are woody with leaf scars and often have suckers at the base. Leaves are opposite, leathery, green to grayish, and the leaf blade becomes torn and tattered by the wind as it ages. The inflorescence consists of a single purplish boat-shaped spathe that bears several flowers from fall to winter. The pretty bird-like flowers are white and bluish.
USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Bird of Paradise plants are easier to grow than many tropical plants. The plant is a vigorous, rapidly growing indoor plant. They can be moved outside in the summer and, in warmer climes, will thrive for half the year outdoors. They typically flower in the late winter or early spring but bloom at various times under optimal conditions.
Strelitzia is a genus of about 5 or 6 species (depending on who you listen to). Strelitzia reginae is the most well-known species frequently grown as house plants. It is a beautiful plant and can be very successfully grown inside. The biggest drawback is typically its size (they grow up to 5 feet/1.5 m) and the fact that plants need 3 to 5 years before they flower. Nevertheless, they work well in massed plantings or as specimen plants, and their flowers will rise above the foliage for an impressive display. The trick to successful growth is providing lots of bright light (with some gentle, direct sun), water, warmth, and food.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Bird of Paradise Flower.
This species is native to Africa, from the Chimanimani Mountains of Zimbabwe south to Mozambique, the Northern Provinces of South Africa, and Swaziland.
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