Monday, June 06, 2011

My Favorite Flower - Bird of Paradise

My favorite flower is the Bird of Paradise, whose botanical name is Strelitza reginae, commonly called the crane flower.

The flower head is a boat-shaped bract from which pointed featherlike flowers emerge. Each flower has a blue or purplish structure called a tongue. The bract extends from the top of a smooth leafless stem at an angle about 90 degrees or less.

The flowers are bright yellow to yellow-orange to orange with blue/blue violet tongues. Bracts are grayish green to purplish green and edged in red.
If flowers fail to emerge from the bract, the can be gently pulled out, one at a time, by hand.

The Bird of Paradise is a subtropical plant so it is sensitive to chill.
Birds-of-paradise are one of the few flowers polinated by birds; however, the common name was given because the open blossoms resemblea crested bird's head or the wings of a bird in flight.