Bird-of-Paradise Plant

12 Interesting Facts About Bird Of Paradise

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The bird of paradise plant, also known by its scientific name Strelitzia, is an exotic and stunning tropical flower that is instantly recognizable by its vibrant orange and blue blooms that resemble an actual bird. Native to South Africa, this plant has become hugely popular across the world thanks to its vibrant colors and striking appearance.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most fascinating facts about this eye-catching plant. Read on to learn all about the bird of paradise’s origins, unique features, symbolism, and more!

Origins and History

  1. Named after a real bird. The plant gets both its common name and scientific name from the beautiful bird of paradise bird native to New Guinea. This is because 18th-century naturalists thought the plant’s flowers closely resembled these brightly colored birds.
  2. Discovered in South Africa. While it’s named after a New Guinea bird, the plant is native to South Africa, where it grows in rainforests and along streams and rivers. It was first scientifically classified in 1773.
  3. Member of the banana family. Despite its dramatically different appearance, the bird of paradise is a part of the banana family (Musaceae)! It’s closely related to banana trees and even has leaves with a similar shape and orientation.
Bird of paradise plant

Unique Features and Adaptations

  1. Tear-shaped leaves. The large, wide leaves of the bird of paradise have a distinct tear-drop shape, with splits and holes throughout. This helps the plant withstand strong winds without damage.
  2. Blue and orange blooms. The plant’s flowers are its most stunning feature – bright orange sepals and petals with a contrasting blue central structure that resembles a bird’s head and beak.
  3. Blooms face downward. Unlike most flowers, the bird of paradise’s blossoms hang upside down! This allows rainwater to pool inside them instead of ruining the delicate petals.

Growth and Care

  1. Slow growing. The bird of paradise is a slow grower, only adding about one new leaf per year. But with the proper care and conditions, it can eventually grow up to 6-7 feet tall indoors.
  2. Loves sunlight. Native to tropical regions, this plant thrives in direct sunlight. Place it in the brightest spot in your home for the best chance of it flowering.
  3. Hardy once established. While slow-growing at first, mature bird of paradise plants are quite hardy and easy to maintain when properly established.

Symbolism and Meaning

  1. Symbolizes freedom and joy. With its tropical origins and free-flying bird shape, this flower has come to symbolize paradise, freedom, joy, and anticipation in flower language.
  2. Wedding flower. Its symbolism also makes the bird of paradise a popular choice for wedding bouquets and centerpieces. It represents faithfulness and thoughtfulness – perfect for marriages!
  3. Featured in art. This plant’s wildly exotic appearance has inspired many artists. It can be spotted in paintings, literature, sculptures, fabrics patterns and more across the world.

The bird of paradise is an exotic tropical flower brimming with surprising facts. With vibrant, free-form blooms and intricate adaptations, it’s no wonder this plant has been inspiring gardeners, brides and artists for generations!


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