May 13, 2011
Flower Glossary: Birds of Paradise
Coming from the strelitzia genre, the Bird of Paradise is a perennial plant that was first found in South Africa where it is mostly referred to as a Crane Flower.
Easily recognized by their unique characteristics, Bird of Paradise flowers are most commonly comprised of 3-5 vividly orange petals and 2-3 deep blue petals. The orange petals typically grow vertically, while the blue petals grow horizontally. This, combined with the other flowers features, gives the appearance of a birds head and beak, thus its name. Other unique qualities about this flower is that its average growth height reaches 4-6 feet, it’s leaves are sturdy and resilient like banana leaves and they grow an average of 18” in length. Also, if you live by the ocean this plant would be a great companion since its sturdy leaves can resist the potential harm of the salt breeze.
Due to the fact that this exotic flower came from South Africa, the Bird of Paradise thrives in hot and humid climates. Its’ ideal daily temperature is anywhere between 68°-72°, while it likes the nightly temperature to be anywhere from 50°-55°. The soil of this root based plant should be kept evenly moist from March-October, and kept dry throughout the rest of the year. Be careful of overwatering, as this plant can get root rot from too much moister. The other ingredient to growing this beautifully different flower is patience. It is very common to not see the first flower bloom for 3-5 years after the first seed was planted. But once it does bloom, the view is spectacular.
Florists admire this flower for its unique looks and versatility. They love to use these tropical flowers in summer wedding arrangements, in multi-bloom tropical bouquets, or as single flower centerpieces. Florists also recommend giving this popular flower for people celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary, as this is the traditional floral selection for this milestone. When given for this occasion, the flower displays a meaning of faithfulness, but it also has several other meanings. Expressing freedom, joy and a clear perspective on life, this flower brings happiness wherever it is displayed.
Also visit our Birds of Paradise Life Cycle page.
(Images provided by AFIF)