Thursday, 6 November 2014

BIRD OF PARADISE FLOWER

Strelitzia reginae is a monocotyledonous flowering plant indigenous to South Africa. Common names include Strelitzia, Crane Flower or Bird of Paradise, though these names are also collectively applied to other species in the genus Strelitzia. Its scientific name commemorates Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen consort of the United Kingdom, wife of H.M. King George III.

The species is native to South Africa but naturalised in Mexico, Belize, Bangladesh, Madeira Islands and Juan Fernández Islands off the coast of Chile. The plant grows to 2 m tall, with large, strong leaves 25–70 cm  long and 10–30 cm broad, produced on petioles up to 1 m long. The leaves are evergreen and arranged in two ranks, making a fan-shaped crown.

The flowers stand above the foliage at the tips of long stalks. The hard, beak-like sheath from which the flower emerges is termed the spathe. This is placed perpendicular to the stem, which gives it the appearance of a bird's head and beak; it makes a durable perch for holding the sunbirds which pollinate the flowers. The flowers, which emerge one at a time from the spathe, consist of three brilliant orange sepals and three purplish-blue petals. Two of the blue petals are joined together to form an arrow-like nectary. When the sunbirds sit to drink the nectar, the petals open to cover their feet in pollen.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.




7 comments:

  1. Your gorgeous flower pictures will help me through the bleakness of winter. I look forward to Fridays.
    To have these extravagant flowers by your front door....Envy.

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  2. It is a beautiful flower!! We have them here in South Africa too!

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  3. They are such unusual flowers, very eye-catching. It's too cold here for me to grow them so I admire them from afar. :)

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  4. These are beauties! often the ones I see have trashy foliage. Tom The Backroads Traveller

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  5. These never fail to amaze me!

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  6. Wow, it's so great to see this flower in your captures!
    Heidrun

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  7. Lovely! I like the first photo with all the green in the background.

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