AZ Arboretums

Strelitzia reginae

bird of paradiseCommon: Bird of paradise
Family: Strelitziaceae
Sunset Zone: Outdoors in Zones 22-24. Under overhangs where heat can be trapped, Zones 9, 12-21.
Origin: Native of South Africa
Light: Full sun in cool areas or during cool periods. Best with filtered to part shade.
Soil: Rich deep soil with much humus and good drainage.
Water: Moderate to ample

Exotic tropical appearance. Fantastic flowers last a long time; may be used in arrangements. Can be used in sheltered gardens away from hot winds and freezing temperatures, enclosed patios, atriums or entryways. Wide, paddle-like blue green leaf blades rise from trunkless plant base and radiate outward at top. Moderate to slow growth to 3 to 5 feet or more high. Roots are long and fleshy and need room to spread.

Large, leathery, banana-like leaves, blue-green. Flowers look like tropical birds; horizontal, boat shaped bracts are up to 8 inches long and sometimes edged with purple or red. Orange to yellow petals fan from top, and blue tongue extends sideways toward outer tip of bloom. Some plant parts are believed to be poisonous. Benefits from frequent and heavy feedings. Groom by removing old blooms and leaves. Injured from hot sun, winds and frost. Recover slowly.