Strelitzia juncea (Narrow-leafed Bird of Paradise)

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Scientific Name

Strelitzia juncea Link

Common Names

Narrow-leafed Bird of Paradise, Rush-leaved Strelitzia, Bird of Paradise, Crane Flower

Synonyms

Strelitzia parvifolia var. juncea, Strelitzia principis, Strelitzia reginae subsp. juncea, Strelitzia reginae var. juncea, Strelitzia teretifolia

Scientific Classification

Family: Strelitziaceae
Genus: Strelitzia

Flower

Color: Orange and blue
Bloom Time: Late fall through late spring

Description

Strelitzia juncea is an evergreen perennial that slowly forms ever larger clumps of rhizomes from which emerge up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long, bluish-green, narrow stalks. From late fall through late spring appear orange and blue flowers that 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 hard, 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 3 brilliantly orange colored sepals and 3 blue petals, two of which are fused into a long arrow like structure and the third cupped downward as a nectary.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Bird of Paradise 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 outside. They typically flower in the late winter or early spring, but under optimal conditions, will flower at various times.

Strelitzia is a genus of about 5 or 6 species (depending on who you listen to). Strelitzia reginae is the most well known species and is 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

Origin

Strelitzia juncea is native to South Africa.

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