Strelitzia reginae (also known as Birds of Paradise) is in its prime this month. This incredibly attractive shrub is native to the dry, thorny grasslands of the Eastern Cape, but has won worldwide acclaim, including being used as the floral emblem for the city of Los Angeles.
Strelitzia reginae is the most popular variety of Strelitzia found in South Africa. It grows to a height of about 1.5m and is a sturdy, low maintenance plant with bright orange and blue flowers on top of tall stems. The first flowers appear in autumn, before blooming profusely in the winter months, and then providing a few last flowers in spring.
Strelitzia reginae should be planted in full sun in an area where it is able to spread out to a width of about 2m. It is an excellent focal plant for a small garden, or can be planted en masse for a very attractive display in larger gardens.