View of Buck Island from East End, St. Croix, USVI
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Plants - Bird of Paradise

Scientific & Common Names:

Strelitzia, more commonly known as the bird of paradise or crane flower

Native to:

South Africa

Description:

The bird of paradise is actually a large tropical herb that is a member of the banana family which typically reaches 5 to 10 feet tall. It’s large leaves are 12 to 79 inches long and 4 to 30 inches broad, similar to a banana leaf in appearance but with a longer petiole, and arranged strictly in two ranks to form a fan-like crown of evergreen foliage. The flower stalks are actually a combination of blue petals and orange petal-looking leaves that emerge from a beak-like leaf structure. The species was brought to the Caribbean because of its beauty and its ability to do well in our warm, humid climate.