Bird of Paradise – Strelitzia reginae

Bird of Paradise Flower

Have you ever seen the Bird-of-Paradise growing? I had never seen one except at the florist. When you see the flower peeking above the dark evergreen leaves you begin to understand why they are names for a bird. They look just like birds sitting at the top of this tall plant. This one is just one of the many plants that are in the Conservatory at the Longwood Gardens.

This beautiful flower was first introduced at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew in 1773. It has been named the official flower of Los Angels City, California.

Although this plant is listed as toxic it was used in herbal medicine to relieve itching and to treat swollen glands. If any mammal ingests this plant (leaves, flowers, seeds and fruit) the result will be nausea and vomiting.

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