The scientific name for these flowers is Strelitzia Reginae and they are native to South Africa. The Bird of paradise is a large tropical herb with a spectacular blossom. Long stemmed flowers emerge with a stunning red or purple border. The plant can reach up to 5 foot high with a 2-3 feet width, they have very large leaves which range from 30 – 200 cm long and 10-80 cm broad – and resemble that of a banana leaf.
Birds of paradise flowers are extremely dramatic as an ornamental display. They are great for cutting and individual flowers last for about a week. Even when they are not in flower they still look incredibly stunning. Placing a single stem in a tall slender vase looks fantastic – select a stem that is about to bloom and fill the vase two thirds with white stones (coloured stones will divert attention) make sure you change the water once a week and the bloom should last for approximately 3 weeks.
The bird of paradise flower cannot be grown outside in the in the UK this is because they prefer warmer conditions – they require a minimum temperature of 10 degrees. In winter these plants should be kept in dry conditions however in summer they should be fed lots of water. They flower in spring and early summer.