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Strelitzia - a beautiful South African flower conquered the whole world for its exotic form.

This beautiful plant has been brought in Europe and named in honor of the wife of King George III, Queen Charlotte Sophia, daughter of german duchess Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Evergreen long-term large plant (in high up to 2 meters and more) with the large long and oval shaped leaves on powerful long petioles. The leaves of Strelitzia can have a wide variety of colors: from green-blue to gray-green. In course of time usually the leaves are fissioning, so that leaves seem to be pinnate. The wonderful flowers of Strelitzia do not have any fragrance, that's why sometimes they even seem to be artificial. Quite often the inflorescences of Strelizia are named by "bird of paradise", because they are reminding heads of whimsical birds. Including in itself the spectrum from yellow-orange to crimson-blue color, even one flower of "bird of paradise" has an amazing color harmony.

Often under the base of blossoming out flowers, on the sides of the green bud of inflorescence - the original "beak", you can see the drops of transparent resinous juice. To many it seems to be tears of the "birds". Narrow, twisted up and the brightly petals, large stamens and plenty of nectar - all this attracts tiny birds - sunbirds. These birds sit down on horizontally located coriaceous leaf and become the pollinators of these wonderful plants.

There are only five species of Strelitzia. Strelitzia is near relative of usual banana, came to Europe from distant and enigmatic South Africa. In the nature Strelitzia grows on the banks of drying out brooks and shallow small rivers, among high herbares and shrublets in near South African deserts, forming thickets. And exactly there, in the second half of 18th century the English travelers discovered this unusual bright orange with a blue or violet color flower.

First the flower of Strelitzia was presented in Europe in 1773, it happened in the London Royal Botanical garden. From that time Strelitzia began to conquer the world for its exotic beauty. It is widely spread all over the world, because Strelitzia can grow anywhere there is a sun and heat.

Strelitzia became popular in the whole world, and in Los Angeles they are grown in such large quantities, that they became a symbol of Los Angeles and the Canary Islands.

Strelitzia Reginae or Crane Flower is very popular in Argentina. It blooms almost all over the year except the summer months. Strelitzia is planted on the spacious green lawns around homes, in parks or in the courtyards. In Buenos Aires "birds of paradise" are one of the most important decorations of the city, although it was widely perceived as something natural, self-evident.

One type of unusual Strelitzia is dedicated to the last Russian tsar. The famous botanist Eduard Regel, the head of the St. Petersburg Imperial Botanical Garden, named Strelitzia Nicolai in honor of the Russian Emperor Nicholai.

Cut flowers retain highly decorative for 3-4 weeks, so they are very often used in the original flower compositions. Strelitzia as well as irises, calla lilies, helicons, gladioluses, lilies and tulips, are considered as male flowers. Therefore particularly well it looks in the so-called "male" bouquet - bright and large and the contrast in form. Sometimes in such bouquets the flowers are arranged in several tiers, and Strelitzia is on the top, converting the bouquet into something magical and fantastic.




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