Hardy Plantabase

Hardy Tropicals Hardy Plantabase.

Category: Strelitzia (1 Entries)

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White Bird of Paradise, Giant Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia Nicolai)

Categorized as: Flower,Shrub,Tree

April 25, 2010 | 23990 Views | 1 Comments

White Bird of Paradise A crown of banana-like leaves atop a palm tree trunk, combined with huge, uniquely beautiful flowers, is deserving of the name, "Bird of Paradise tree." Related to the bird of paradise flower (Strelitzia regina ), this close cousin is a much larger plant forming huge clumps of stems to 30 feet in comparison to S. regina's 3 to 4 feet height.

The 6 - 8' leaves are grey-green and arranged in fans atop the trunks. Plants form clumps of several variably-sized trunks that may grow to 18' in width under optimal conditions. The inflorescence are composed of a dark blue bract, white sepals and bluish-purple "tongue". The entire "bird" can be as large as 7" high by 18" long and is typically held just above the point where the leaf fan emerges from the trunk. Flowers are followed by triangular seed capsules.

The foliage on this plant will typically die back in areas with a hard frost, though the plant itself can be kept alive as far as zone 8a with a good mulch. With additional protection, you may be able to grow it in the ground even further north. Any time it dies back to the ground however, the plant basically has to restart its growth - so flowering is very unlikely this way. Only mature plants typically flower, so you must pot the plant up if you live above zone 9-10.
Family: Strelitziaceae
Genus: Strelitzia
Species: Nicolai
Cultivar: None Identified