Plant identification -Bird of Paradise


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Judging from your picture, I believe you have a Strelitzia reginae, commonly called Bird of Paradise or Crane Flower.  This is a tropical plant that is native to South Africa and today is commonly used as an attractive house plant.

Its leaves resemble leaves of the banana plant as it has no stem – it’s leaves come from a central frond and can be up to 3 feet in size.  The entire plant can grow to be 6.5 feet tall in the right conditions, so hopefully you have lots of space for it.

It does require full sun as the leaves will curl if it is not getting enough light so situating it close to a bright sunny window or under a skylight would be perfect.  It can be brought outside once the threat of frost has passed in the spring, but needs to be brought back inside before first frost in autumn.  It also needs plenty of humidity so either misting it or sitting its pot/container on a bed of stones in a tray of water can be helpful especially in our dry heated homes during winter.  Re-potting can delay flowering so it is best not to disturb them too much.

If you are lucky enough to get your plant to flower, you can consider it to be happy with the care you are giving it.  The flowers produce pollen but it is not airborne so allergic reactions should be minimal.

There is some documentation that mentions the plant can be toxic to animals and can make people ill if ingested.  The seeds are the most toxic part of the plant.

Below are a couple of links to web sites that have more information about the plant should you be interested in further reading.