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.


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 Angeles.

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.


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.



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 summer.

Giant Strelitzias as others reproduced by removing suckers or from the mother or from the seed.


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 “Mandela Gold”.

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.


Bananas 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 paradisiaca.

Banana varieties in Turkey

 Musa paradisiaca

 Musa sikkimensis red tiger

 Musa velutina

 Musa spp. Helen’s hybrid

 Ensete ventricosum maurellii (Musa ensete)

 Ensete sp. (Kluay Pa/Thailand)

 Musella lasiocarpa

 Musa ornata


Ornamental BaNaNa  Musa ornata

Musa 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).


Banana Palm  Ravenala madagascarinesis

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 Explorers.

In Turkey 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 location.
We have after a long break, started again cultivation of Ravenele for winter gardens.