A Bird of Paradise

Strelitzia bird of paradise

Every morning I walk past a patch of Strelitzia on my way to the office and when there are flowers in bloom I can’t help but pause for a moment to enjoy it. The Strelitzia reginae is also known as the crane flower or bird of paradise. In Afrikaans it’s called a kraanvoëlblom and in Nguni it’s an isigude. The Strelitzia reginae occurs naturally only in South Africa along the eastern coast from Humansdorp to northern KwaZulu-Natal in coastal bush and thicket. It often grows along river banks in full sun, however, sometimes it occurs and flowers on margins of forest in shade. The inflorescence stalk is 700 mm tall with 4-6 flowers that emerge in succession in a boat-shaped spathe.

Source – SANBI