strelitzia-reginae-2

Strelitzia reginae (Banks)

Product Description

Description: Strelitzia reginae is a perennial and dramatic with large leathery banana shaped leaves, nearly 1 m long. Tall stalks rise from rhizomatous roots forming an erect upright mass of stalk and foliage that give a shrubby look.

Features of Particular Interest:Spectacular flower stalks arise bearing bird like flowers with bright orange sepals that are vertical. The petals are blue and the lower two are arranged so that a visiting bird is compelled to stand on them. The bird’s weight causes the petals to part exposing the pollen which sticks to the bird’s breast. The bird automatically cross-pollinates the next plant visited.

Height and Spread: 1m x 1.5m.

Periods of Interest

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Leaf

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Flower

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Cultivation 

Soil and Moisture: S. reginae does best in rich deep and nutrient-rich soil and will flower only when it is properly established. It needs water in the hot dry season but can remain fairly dry in cooler months. It does best if well mulched and should withstand times of drought.

Aspect : It does best in full sun but will tolerate semi shade.

Hardiness: Frost hardy and wind resistant.

Maintenance and Pruning: Keep well fed with compost. Does not require pruning. Deadheading will encourage more flowers.

Propagation: Not easy. Carefully by division, or with difficulty from seed.

Problems and Drawbacks: S. reginae will give some small flowers after two years, but will take 5 – 7 years to reach full potential. Height at 5 years 0.6m at 10 years 1.2m at 20 years 1.5m.and spreads over 2 – 3 m. It is slow to grow to large clump. It does not like to be disturbed. If it is to be moved, this must be done in early spring (august).

Use and Associated Planting: Neat, architectural and exotic plant. They are good for cut flowers and flower arranging. Can be used in mass planting in drifts in large gardens, in a mixed border and shrubbery. May also be used as a specimen plant. Effective if planted in a courtyard garden or amongst hard landscaping areas (e.g. swimming pools) for impact. Good in pots, in a conservatory. Impressive ground cover when mass planted. If mass planted, interplant with drifts of grasses to create rhythms and modulations of light, colour and texture. Blue salvias and/or lavender set the blue off and contrast with the yellow/orange.

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Notes: Yellow flowering variety called “Mandela’s Gold” after Mr Nelson Mandela.

Family:
Strelitziaceae
Genus:
Strelitzia
Species:
reginae
Common Name(s):
Bird of Paradise Plant, Crane Flower
Origin:
Southern Africa
Size:
Small
Flower Colour:
Orange and mauve
Features:
Flowers, Specimen, Leaves, Deciduous
References:
Joffe p.248, Johnson 1 p.100, Pienaar 1 p.42.