STRELITZIAS - BIRD OF PARADISE FLOWERS
Bird of Paradise Flowers
are belong to the Strelitziaceae family. The most known
strelitzias scientific name is Strelitzia reginae. However,
there are four other, less well known types. These perennial
plants are found naturally in the bush around Port Elizabeth
in the eastern Cape and in the northern and the southern
Natal at RSA.
Of the 4 types of Sterlitzieas in our Centre, 3 are the
first cultivations in our country.
BIRD OF PARADISE PLANT
This plant, known as
Strelitzia in our country, is currently marketed as the most
expensive cut flower, and is reproduced from seeds or by
dividing large clumbs. It is brush type plant. It has long ,
elliptical leaves and can reach 1 1.5 meter height.
Annually it propagates after flowering, forming groups from
a single plant. When grown from seed, it takes at least four
years before flower is produced. It is not resistant to
frost, but can tolerate down to 4 C, for short periods.
Orange and blue flowers are extraordinarily beautiful and
resemble the head of a bird, It is cultivated as outdoors
aesthetic plants in countries having Mediterranean type
climates (California, South Australia, Mediterranean
Countries). It adepts well in tropical and sub-tropical
climates. It is the symbol flower of the city of Los
It is being produced as cut flowers in the Canary Islands
over large plantations, and is a major source of foreign
exchange. In our country it is grown at a modest scale in
green houses in Yalova, Izmir and Antalya.
Strelitzia reginae has also a social importance. It is known
as the flower given to men. We observe that during the world
sports competitions, it is often given to male sportsmen.
It is reproduced from seeds or by dividing the clums. For
new greenhouses it is recommended to to grow from seeds.
Generally the flowering period is spring and fall.
JUNCEA DWARF STRELITZIA
Although, known as dwarf strelitzia, this
description is not entirely correct, as due to its long
leaves, it is relatively tall. It has been reproduced first
time Turkey in our Palm Center, which is struggling to add
new species to the current list. This species although
having same type of flowers, have much thinner leaves which
almost have the shape of a sword. The flowers of clumps,
create a pleasant sea of colours among the thin leaves.
GIANT STRELITZIA-NATALS WILD BANANA
This Giant Banana of Natal, known as Giant Bird of Paradise
Plant, is much taller than other Strelitzias and reaches 8-10 meters height.
These too make clumps as the other Strelitzias. Each leave reaches 1 meter
length with a 2 meter long stalk. They form a stem in time. Its flowers are 45
cm long, in the form of a thick bird peak, in white-grey colour. Flower stalks
are pink-green and each stalk can have 1-3 flowers. Generally flowering is in
Giant Strelitzias as others reproduced by removing suckers or from the mother or
from the seed.
STRELITZIA REGINAE GOLD GOLDEN
This new Strelitzia species has been cultured in the 90ties
by the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens of The RSA and later
seeds were made available. Flower colour is golden yellow
and blue, instead of the usual orange. In the 1996
Kirstenbosch seed catalogue it was listed as Strelitzia
regina Kirstenbosch Gold and each seed was sold for 1
American Dollar. Its export was to United States of America
was indicated to be not permitted. These seeds need as
special procedure for germination. In the 1997 catalogue the
name of this plant was changed from Kirstenbosch Gold to
Golden Strelitzia has brought a gold medal to the South
African Team in the 1998 Chelsea Plant Fair, which is
organized annually in London and is one of the largest world
exhibitions. Golden Strelitzia has received much publicity
in the media also after receiving much attention from the
Queen of England Elizabeth II during that fair.
Golden Strelitzia has been cultivated in our Center as first
in our country, and with special care has produced its first
flower in 1999.
are in general edible fruit bearing plants of South-East Asia.
Many varieties have been produced by hybridisation between
natural varieties. Musa paradisiaca is one of them. In our
country many varieties are in cultivation, except Musa
Banana varieties in Turkey
sikkimensis red tiger
Ensete ventricosum maurellii
Ensete sp. (Kluay
ornata has roots resistant to frost (-10 - -12 deg C). It
originates from India and Myanmar (old name Burma). Its height
does not exceed 250-300 cm, grows fast and produces many
offsprings. It has dark green narrow elegant leaves with brown
stripes and patches, reaching 150-180 cm in length. It has
yellew-orange flowers at the end of long stalks, with a rose
pink sheath over the flower. Its flowers are often used as cut
flowers in tropical flower arrangements. As like other bananas,
they like permebakle soil with high humus content and plenty of
sun light. For fruit it is recommended to plant more than one
seedling. Propagation is obtained from seeds or offsprings. In
areas with frost, the roots have to be protected with mulch (preferably
with goat, sheep manure).
This is a
beautiful plant of the tropics which originates from Madagascar.
It is neither a palm or a banana species. The English called
this plant Traveller palm because water collected on its
leaves provided a source of drinking water to the early European
it was first cultivated in 1995 in the green houses of our Palm
Center. Although there are examples in greenhouses and winter
gardens, we do not know if there are outdoor examples. One plant
situated in the inner courtyard of an hotel in Marmaris, is
known to have survived two winters, and produced leaves up to 3
meters, but later died following a transfer to a different
We have after a long break, started again cultivation of
Ravenele for winter gardens.