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Dec 23, 2010

Strelitzia reginae (Crane Flower or Bird of Paradise)

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 King George III.

  Plants grow to 2 m (6,6 ft) high, with large, strong leaves 25-70 cm (9.8 to 28) long and 10-30 cm (3.9 to 12 in) broad, produced on petioles up to 1 m (the 39th) long. The leaves are green and arranged in two ranks, making a fan-shaped crowns. The flowers stand above the foliage at the end of long stalks. Sheath, half as hard as the interest of which appears is called the spathe. It was placed perpendicular to the stem, which gives the appearance of bird's head and beak, it makes a durable perch for holding the honey that pollinate the flowers. The flowers, which appear one at a time from the spathe, consist of three brilliant orange sepals and three petals of violet-blue. Two of the blue petals joined together to form an arrow-like nectary. When sitting down to drink honey nectar, petals open to cover their feet in pollen.

S. reginae very popular as an ornamental plant. It was first introduced to Europe in 1773, when grown in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Since then, it has been widely introduced throughout the world, including America and Australia, grows well in sunny and warm. In the United States, California, Florida and is the main area of cultivation, because of their warm climate. It is a common ornamental plant in Southern California, and has been selected as the Official Flower City of Los Angeles, where they all but unkillable.

This is spread by the division or from seed, and is a low-maintenance plant that grows easily in the park, it is quite tolerant of soil conditions and needs little water once established. If treated properly, they will flower several times a year. They will grow in clay-rich, especially when they get a lot of water throughout the year. They do well in full sun to semi-shade and respond well to regular feeding with controlled release fertilizer and compost. They are sensitive to cold and should be protected from ice, because it can damage the flowers and leaves.

S. Reginae slow growth and will not bloom until three to five years have passed since germination (although it could be very interest in two years). This flower only when properly defined and the distribution of plants can influence the pattern of flowering. The flowers, however, durable enough after they appear. Peak flowering in winter and early spring. There were yellow-flower cultivars of this plant is known as the Mandela Gold Strelitzia.


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