Strelitzia juncea Link
Narrow-leafed Bird of Paradise, Rush-leaved Strelitzia, Bird of Paradise, Crane Flower
Strelitzia parvifolia var. juncea, Strelitzia principis, Strelitzia reginae subsp. juncea, Strelitzia reginae var. juncea, Strelitzia teretifolia
Color: Orange and blue
Bloom Time: Late fall through late spring
Strelitzia juncea is an evergreen perennial that slowly forms ever-larger clumps of rhizomes from which emerge narrow, up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long, bluish-green stalks. From late fall through late spring, orange and blue flowers rise from reed-like grayish leaf stalks that can reach up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall. These stalks bear flowers of a most interesting floral structure with stiff, beak-like, green, sheath-like bracts held singly at a right angle at the tip of the stalks. From this spathe, which can be up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and tinged on the upper surface with a pale pink color, emerge the flowers one at a time to display three brilliantly orange-colored sepals and three blue petals, two of which are fused into a long arrow-like structure and the third cupped downward as a nectary.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Bird of Paradise is 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 they will flower 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 will flower. 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 South Africa.
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