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Strelitzia nicolai

Pronunciation: Stre-litz-ee-uh nik-oh-ly
Family: Strelitziaceae (bird-of-paradise family)
Common Name: Bird-of-paradise tree, giant bird-of-paradise
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 30'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • late spring
  • early summer
  • mid summer
Bloom Description: The 6 - 8' leaves are grey-green and arranged in fans atop the trunks. Plants form clumps of several variably-sized trunks that may grow to 18' in width under optimal conditions. The infloresence (the paradisiacal bird-like flower structures) are composed of a dark blue bract, white sepals and bluish-purple "tongue". The entire "bird" can be as large as 7" high by 18" long and is typically held just above the point where the leaf fan emerges from the trunk. Flowers are followed by triangular seed capsules.
Soil Type: The "big bird" likes enriched moisture-retentive soils. It responds enthusiastically to fertilizer, so feed about once a month during the warm growing season to stimulate rapid growth. Water when dry. Does not like saturated conditions.
Plant Perks:
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Container Gardening
Propagation: Division of clumps is the easiest way as well as from suckers. Also from seed but note that plants require many years of growth before they begin blooming.
Native to: Sub-tropical south africa. The bird of paradise tree is becoming very popular both as a subject for use in near frost-free landscapes and as a subject for interiorscapes.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata -bird of paradise tree is a spectacular accent plant. Use in pairs as sentinels guarding entries and gateways. Also a great plant for large containers situated both outdoors or inside. Indeed, large populations of bird of paradise tree now inhabit shopping malls all over the country. It's size and bulk make it suitable for large-scale commercial landscapes, golf courses, parks, campuses and mall food courts. This is an easy to grow, very non-messy, low maintenance plant that is a good choice for use near pool and patio. Plants are inexpensive, available in a range of sizes, and grow rather quickly and so are a great choice for new home landscapes in warm areas. Bird of paradise tree is just the ticket when you want tough, durable beauty and unique form in a large plant. Care: plant in sheltered spot as high winds will shred leaves resulting in scruffy looking plants. When plants attain desired size you can withold fertilizer to slow growth and keep plant in scale.  
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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