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The Spectacular Bird of Paradise

from: Lawn and Garden Magic

Of all the flowers on earth the Bird of Paradise are truly spectacular. Yes, any flower is fantastic, but there is something very special about the unique beauty of Bird of Paradise flowers.

Since they're native to South Africa they're a large tropical herb classified as a member of the banana family -- or Musaceae, likely due to the shape of its leaves, which, of course, looks much like banana leaves. They're also ranked in the division of Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida and order Zingeberales. As you might have guessed, they're named Bird of Paradise because of spectacular blossoms that look a lot like birds when watched from a distance. Bird of Paradise flowers retain the scientific name of Strelitzia reginae.

Bird of Paradise are almost breath-taking with blossoms of long stemmed flowers shoot out from green boat-shaped bracts bordered with purple or red. Actually, you'll discover many sets of flowers in foliage, which gather on the end of a stalk. An amazing combination of distinctive shapes and colors that perfectly suit their name, the many pointed petals of radiant orange contrast nicely with its arrow-shaped tongue of striking blue. You'll also find species of Bird of Paradise flowers with white and blue shades. Winter and spring are the normal times when they begin to blossom in succession.

Enjoying your own Bird of Paradise flowers from seed requires from five to seven years, which seems like a long time, however, it's well worth the wait once you begin to see the plant start to bloom. So, if you're not discouraged by the waid and still want to have your own Bird of Paradise flowers, then you should get to know how to care for them. Here's a few quick tips.

1) Since they're a tropical plant, Bird of Paradise should get lots of sunlight, however it will need protection if the temperature falls below 30 degrees.

2) Fertilize with appropriate fertilizer, but never over-fertilize. So be careful to follow the directions you receive with your fertilize because too much of anything won't do any good, whether you're dealing with people, animals or plants.

Bird of Paradise will respond quite well to trimming, however, don't over-water these flowers and make sure the roots are able to dry out between waterings.


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