FloristDEX

Birds of Paradise

The lovely Birds of Paradise is native to South America, where it is commonly referred to as a crane flower. This genus is Strelitzia and there are five variations of this flower. The name Birds of Paradise comes from the appearance of the bloom, which resembles a brightly-colored exotic bird mid-flight. Each bloom has three orange and blue petals. Some variations have yellow hues as well.

The foliage of the Birds of Paradise is made up of two ranks of leaves shaped like banana leaves. While this plant can grow up to 10 meters, most varieties only grow to three or four meters tall. The leaves themselves can be six inches wide and up to 18 inches long.

The Birds of Paradise is spectacular in a vase by itself because of the intensley bright hues. But if you were to couple this flower into an arrangement, it would need to be bound together or somehow supported so that it didn't bruise smaller flowers. Birds of Paradise are often referred to as the symbol of exotic flowers.

Growing the Birds of Paradise is best accomplished in an area that does not generally have a temperature drop below 50 degrees Farenheit, or in a greenhouse. When planning the flowers position in landscaping, the height of the flower should be taken into consideration so that smaller plants are not overshadowed. During spring and summer, the Birds of Paradise needs to be watered generously daily, but during the fall and winter should slow down. This is simulate the precipitation of its homeland, South America. Likewise, if you choose to use fertiziler, lay off a bit in the fall and winter. Plant in a sunny spot in the yard, as these plants are accustomed to a great deal of sun.

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