The main feature of these exotic flowers is their unusual and beautiful shape. The bird of paradise flower are native to South Africa and are also known as crane flowers. These flowers generally bloom from September through May and are generally orange color.

In addition to being a flower, the name ‘Birds of Paradise’ is also shared with an attractive landscape plant. These flowers get their name due to their unique shape – these flowers resemble a brightly colored bird in flight.

Bird of Paradise features

  • The leaves blades are 6 inches wide and 18 inches long.
  • The Bird of Paradise plant usually reaches a height of 4 feet.
  • The flowers of the Birds of Paradise are produced in a horizontal inflorescence emerging from a stout spathe.
  • The Birds of Paradise flower inflorescence is borne atop long scapes, or pedicels, that grow to 5 feet or more in height.
  • A series of highly colored bracts, or modified leaves, are formed in structures similar to green, red, and purplish canoe-like.
  • The bracts range from 4 to 8 inches long, depending upon the age and size of the Birds of Paradise plant.
  • Each Bird of Paradise flower is made up of three vertical orange sepals and three highly modified blue petals. Two of the petals are joined together in a structure that resembles an arrowhead with the third petal forming a nectary at the base of the flower.
  • Each bract contains 2 or more protruding Birds of paradise florets of birght yellow or orange elongated petals and a bright blue tongue.
  • The female part of the Birds of Paradise flower is the long extension of the blue tongue, which is extended well away from the stamens.

History and origins of the bird of paradise flower

The meaning of the bird of paradise flower includes joy and paradise, as it is the quintessential tropical flower. It originates from South Africa, where it is also nicknamed the Crane Flower. This flower has been grown at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, South Africa, since 1773. The scientific name of the bird of paradise is Strelitzia reginae, which was named after Sir Joseph Banks, who was the director of the royal gardens. He named genus, Strelitzia, after Queen Charlotte, who was the Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

The bird of paradise gets its name from the fact that its flower is made of three bright orange petals and three blue petals which are fused together into a single bud. As the flower blooms, each petal makes its debut, and the resulting shape mirrors that of a tropical bird in flight.

Bird of paradise flower meanings

Bird of paradise meanings include joyfulness and paradise, as well as anticipation and excitement. Other meanings include:

  • The bird of paradise represents fidelity, love and consideration, making it the perfect romantic gift.
  • In Hawaii, the bird of paradise grows wild and is an important part of the culture. In Hawaiian, the name means “Little Globe” and represents magnificence.
  • The bird of paradise is the official flower for a ninth wedding anniversary.
  • Birds of paradise also represent having a good perspective on life.

Bird of paradise, symbolism of flowers and colors

The bird of paradise is known as the ultimate symbol of paradise and freedom. Due to its tropical nature, this flower also symbolizes freedom and joy. Although birds of paradise are best known for their bright orange and blue colors, their flowers can also be white.

Bird of paradise cultural significance

The bird of paradise is a very popular source of inspiration in fine art. The famous floral artist, Georgia O’Keefe, painted White Bird of Paradise during her stay in Hawaii in the 1940s, and it is one of her most famous paintings of that time.

The Bird of Paradise was a play that came out in 1912 about a torn interracial romance between a Polynesian beauty and a young American sailor. The play popularized Hawaiian culture and was adapted for film in 1932.

Bird of paradise flower facts

  • The bird of paradise is closely related to the banana plant, which is evident in its similar-looking large fan-like leaves.
  • The giant bird of paradise, Strelitzia nicolai, is one of the largest species and can grow up to 30 feet tall.
  • In the wild, birds of paradise birds are pollinated by sunbirds, regularly feed on its sweet nectar. When the bird lands on its petals, the pollen is transferred to the bird’s chest, which gets transferred to the next flower the bird lands on.
  • After cutting, the bird of paradise flower can last for one to two weeks.
  • Due to its toxicity, keep the bird of paradise flower away from cats and dogs.

Bird of paradise flower uses

With a flowering time from March to October, the birds of paradise flowers are popular cut flowers, especially for summer flower arrangements. They are a great way to add a color and exoticism to any bouquet or centerpiece and are popular in weddings.

The bird of paradise is an easy flower to grow in gardens where the weather is warm. They also make great plants to grow in greenhouses and sunrooms due to their preference for humidity. Potting the plant in a container is also beneficial for flowering.

Dreaming about the tropics? Take a look at our tropical flower bouquets that include other exotic flowers like colorful orchids paired with classic blooms like roses and lilies.

Bird of paradise flower photos

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