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Author: Subject: Can somebody identify this flower?

True Peach





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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 12:38 AM
I seem to remember that we have a professional florist or two on board here. Can anyone identify this flower for me? The tall ones in the middle, part yellow, part red:



Thanks.

 

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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 12:41 AM

Those are Bird of Paradise, Droogie. Oh, and thanks a million for the recent package -- it's one I had NOT heard before and it's wonderful!

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 12:41 AM
Looks liike a ..


 

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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 03:16 AM
The bird-of-paradise flower (Strelitzia reginae), or crane flower as it is sometimes known, is native to the southern and eastern parts of the Cape Province and northern Natal in South Africa, where it grows wild on river banks and in scrub clearings in coastal areas. It was first introduced into Britain in 1773 by Sir Joseph Banks, then the unofficial director of the Royal Gardens at Kew (as they were known at that time). He named the exotic-looking plant Strelitzia in honour of Queen Charlotte, wife of George III and Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who lived at Kew for many years.



Strelitzia reginae 'Kirstenbosch Gold'

Reaching a height of 1.2 m, S. reginae consists of clumps of greyish-green leaves, with long stalks and broad oval blades, arising from an underground stem (rhizome). The plant gets its common name from the exotic appearance of its inflorescence (flowering head). Emerging from a horizontal green and pink boat-shaped bract (a leaf-like structure) in slow succession, the flowers look like the crest on a bird's head.

Each flower is made up of three upright orange sepals and three highly modified vivid blue petals. Two of the petals are joined together in a structure resembling an arrowhead with the third petal forming a nectary at the base of the flower. When a pollinator, usually a sunbird, lands on the arrowhead in search of nectar, the anthers are levered clear of the flower and deposit pollen on the breast of the bird. When the bird flies to another plant, this pollen is transferred to the stigma of the new flower. The resulting fruit is a leathery capsule containing numerous small seeds, each with an orange aril (an outgrowth from the seed similar to the red sheath around yew seeds) and an oil body, possibly to attract birds.

Growing requirements
In Britain, S. reginae cannot usually be grown outside as it needs a temperature of at least 10C. During the winter, the plants should be kept almost dry but in summer they need plenty of water. A suitable compost can be made from one part loam, one and a half parts coir, one part grit and one part bark. The plants require regular feeding. Flowering occurs in spring and early summer and can be encouraged by keeping the plants slightly potbound. Hand-pollination is necessary to produce seed, but this seldom works. For germination and initial growth, the seeds need bottom heat of at least 21C. Some new stocks of seed-raised plants can reach flowering size in two to three years, but individual specimens may take up to ten years. Due to the difficulty of producing seed, S. reginae is usually propagated by dividing the plants or using suckers produced at the base.

 

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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 08:24 AM
Colin, you know too much my friend.

 

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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 08:26 AM
Reminds me of a song I used to hear on TV when I was a kid in IN.

May the bird of paradise fly up your nose
May an elephant caress you with his toes
May your wife be plagued with runners in her hose
May the bird of paradise fly up you nose.

 

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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 06:29 PM
Can you smoke it?

 

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Peach Head



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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 06:58 PM
Now that is a Beautiful Flower, Wow

 

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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 07:44 PM
quote:
Can you smoke it?


I may have to look in the cooler in the morning.

 

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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 08:00 PM
quote:
quote:
Can you smoke it?


I may be in the cooler checking that out in the morning.


 

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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 08:01 PM
Deb so funny.

 

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  posted on 1/20/2009 at 11:57 PM
i like the ceramic boot beside it

 

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  posted on 1/21/2009 at 04:33 AM
Amazing the way these things happen.

Having never previously been aware of this flower, I've just returned from a holiday in Madeira where there are, quite literally, thousands of them (I believe the flower is the symbol of the Island) and now the flower is mentioned on this site!

On our final morning, our landlady came over and offered us a bunch of them to take home to the UK. I'm sure they featured in some of our photos, so I'll have a look and see if there are any worth posting on here.

 
 


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