Also known as Bird of Paradise. Named Strelitzia after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Streliz, who married King George III to become Queen of England in 1761.
Tropical plant with huge oval leaves on long stems and bird-like orange and blue flowers.
A green 'beak' with a bright orange and blue crest, silvery-green leaves.
All year round. Limited availability in summer.
Cut flowers: Purchase Strelitzia when the first flower bud is fully open. They ooze sap which can make the flower quite sticky; this sap can be wiped away carefully. Pull away wilted crests and new ones will pop up from inside the 'beak'.
Plants: Water frequently in summer, much less in winter (overwatering in winter can cause root rot). Feed every 14 days in growing season. Loves sun over 15°C in summer and cooler in winter, 10°C to 13°C. Enjoys a bright and sunny position.