|Strelitzia subsp. var.|
Strelitzia (pronounced /strɛˈlɪtsi.ə/) is a genus of five species of perennial plants, native to South Africa. The genus is named after the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, birthplace of Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom. A common name of the genus is bird of paradise flower, because of a supposed resemblance of its flowers to the bird of paradise. In South Africa it is commonly known as a crane flower.
The species S. nicolai is the largest in the genus, reaching 10 m tall, with stately white and blue flowers; the other species typically reach 2 to 3.5 m tall, except S. caudata which is a tree of a typically smaller size than S. nicolai. The leaves are large, 30–200 cm long and 10–80 cm broad, similar to a banana leaf in appearance but with a longer petiole, and arranged strictly in two ranks to form a fan-like crown of evergreen foliage. The flowers are produced in a horizontal inflorescence emerging from a stout spathe. They are pollinated by sunbirds, which use the spathe as a perch when visiting the flowers; the weight of the bird on the spathe opens it to release the pollen onto the bird's feet, which is then deposited on the next flower it visits.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Strelitzia (for the wife of King George III, Charlotte Sophia, of the family Mecklinburgh-Strelitz, a patron of botany). Musaceae. Bird-of-paradise Flower. Perennial herbs, adapted to the warmhouse, grown for the banana-like foliage and the very odd showy flowers.
Rhizome sometimes subterranean, sometimes an erect woody st.: lvs. large, long-petioled: scape terminal or in the upper axils, short-exserted from the sheaths of the lvs.: bracts large, spathe-like, boat-shaped, acuminate, solitary at the end of the scape or 2 slightly distant: perianth long-exserted; sepals free, long, carinate; petals very dissimilar; stamens 5; ovary 3-celled, many-seeded.—About 5 species, S. Afr.
The Strelitzia Reginae requires a strong soil, a copious supply of water, and considerable sunlight. It is a serviceable plant for house decoration or for the porch or lawn in summer. It will endure much neglect, but unless well cared for it may fail to bloom regularly and well. A night temperature of 50° is sufficient. This plant may be induced to set seed if the flowers are hand-fertilized. The usual method of propagation, however, is by suckers and division. CH
Pests and diseases
- Strelitzia alba (syn. S. augusta) - White bird of paradise
- Strelitzia caudata - Swaziland Strelitzia, African desert banana
- Strelitzia nicolai - White, or Giant bird of paradise; Wild banana
- Strelitzia reginae (syn. S. parvifolia) - Strelitzia, Bird of paradise, or Crane lily
- Strelitzia juncea (Ker Gawl.) - Greatly reduced or non-existent leaves. Cite.
- S × kewensis (hybrid between S. reginae and S. augusta)
Strelitzia reginae flower
- ↑ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
- ↑ Eliovson, Sima (1981). Shrubs, trees, and climbers. Macmillan South Africa. ISBN 0869540114. http://books.google.co.uk/books?client=firefox-a&id=6Yg_AAAAYAAJ&dq=strelitzia+nicolai+height+of+10+metres%22&q=banana-like#search_anchor. Retrieved 2009-09-12.