Exotic Flower Spotlight: All About Birds of Paradise

The exotic and beautiful Bird of Paradise flower is named so for its unusual bird-like appearance when in bloom. Many designers and flower aficionados believe the blossoms resemble the head and plumage of a crane. This flower is a favorite among horticulturists and can be found growing in gardens everywhere. In the wild, however, the plant’s range is limited to the subtropical terrain of South Africa, between KwaZulu-Natal province in the southeast and the south-central Eastern Cape province.

A history of the flower
The Bird of Paradise is also known as the crane flower and the Strelitzia Reginae, and was discovered in the late 1770s by Scottish botanist Francis Masson. He worked for the Royal Gardens at Kew. Masson traveled to South Africa and gathered native plants to bring back to exhibit at the Royal Gardens. He sent hundreds of specimens back to the Gardens, one of which was was a Bird of Paradise. In 1773, the unofficial director of the Gardens, English botanist Sir Joseph Banks, introduced the amazing plant to Britain. He gave it the name Strelitzia after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen consort of George III.

The structure of the plant
The Bird of Paradise is classified in the same order of flowering plants as ginger, banana and their relatives. The fiery flower grows to about 3 to 4 feet in height and has clumps of stiff banana-like leaves that are gray to green in color, extending up from its base. The bright flowers sprout from a beak-like structure known to aficionados as the spathe, which rests at the top of a long stalk and forms a sheath that protects the bloom. The color of the spathe can range from green to purple.

A beautiful bloom
The stunning flowers usually appear in mid-winter and open in succession, with the first ones opening in spring. Each flower is made up of three bright orange upright petals and three bold blue petals. At the base of the flower where two of the petals join together is the nectary, where nectar is secreted. When thirsty birds like the amethyst sunbird or the double-collared sunbird land on the flower to drink the nectar, the petals open and pollen becomes attached to the birds’ feet.

When the birds transfer pollen from one Bird of Paradise flower to another, pollination is complete. During fertilization, the seeds that form evolve into small fruits, which split open and expose the seeds. Those seeds are eaten by birds, and are scattered in new areas, helping the plant maintain its distribution across its habitat.

Growing your Bird of Paradise
First, you should find an ideal spot for your flower. If you live in a climate that has temperatures that dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant can stay outside during warmer temperatures and be brought indoors when it gets cold. Birds of Paradise thrive in spots that receive full sun and they prefer loamy, rich, well-drained soil.

As you plant, leave at least 6 feet between each plant if you are growing multiple Birds of Paradise because they will need adequate room to flower. Soak the plant with water before planting it into the hole or moving it into a pot.

Remove dead leaves and diminishing flowers to reduce the chance of fungus, and fertilize the plant with a 3:1:5 fertilizer or compost during the spring months before it begins new growth.

Easter Flowers – What They Mean

Easter Flowers – What They Mean

Easter comes during a very symbolic time of year. As the weather changes and the earth shakes off its winter coat, Easter arrives to remind us of the new life that is growing in all the beautiful plants around us. If you want to make someone’s day with a gorgeous bouquet, send them a bouquet of traditional Easter flowers. What are Easter flowers and what do they mean? The list below will guide you:

White lilies

The most traditional symbol of Easter is the beautiful white lily. Long considered an ancient embodiment of the Resurrection, lilies today evoke images of purity, hope, new life and serenity. Consider sending a display of lilies and roses like the ones featured in Teleflora’s beautiful and unique Thomas Kinkade’s Moments of Grace bouquet. This selection arrives in a lovely vase featuring the artist Thomas Kinkade’s timeless and best-selling painting, Garden of Grace.

Shop for Thomas Kinkade’s Moment of Grace Bouquet
Thomas Kinkade's Moment of Grace Bouquet

Tulips

The familiar blooms of tulips symbolize perfect love, new life and the return to the warmer weather of spring and summer. Bright bushels of tulips mean friendship and happiness, so share that message with a special someone and send them Teleflora’s delicate Tulip Treasure arrangement. Yellow, white and pink tulips are showcased in a glass vase. Yellow tulips symbolize joy and friendship. White blooms represent innocence, reverence and humility. Pink flowers mean youth, joy and innocence. Together, these tulips perfectly convey the meaning of Easter time.

Shop for Easter tulips
Tulip Bouquet

Daisies

Daisies are sweet and simple flowers that bring meanings of innocence and loyalty as well as purity and gentleness. Include daisies in your Easter bouquet like the ones in Teleflora’s Basket of Beauty display, comprised of pink spray roses, pink alstroemeria, yellow button spray chrysanthemums, white daisy spray chrysanthemums, pink heather and bupleurum, which are artfully arranged with pitta negra and huckleberry in a beautiful ceramic basket.

Shop for Easter Baskets
Easter Basket of flowers

This article is brought to you and
published by Teleflora.

Page 4 of 41234