There sterlizia or bird of paradise, is a plant native to southern Africa with a bushy habit with an average height that is around one meter.
General characteristics of strelitzia
There Strelitzia also called sterlizia or strelizia or bird of paradise, belongs to the Musaceae family (like the banana tree) of the genus Strelitziaceae.
The aerial part of the plant consists of numerous leaves, bracts, leathery long and lanceolate of a green-purple color.
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In the center of the rosette or spiral of leaves spectacular long stiff bearing stems appear inflorescences similar to birds, consisting of three petals of a deep orange color and a central one of an intense blue color.
It is one of the most beautiful and representative tropical plants and can also be grown in pots.
Variety of strelitzia
The most famous of the genre are the Strelitzia reginae, calls sun birds for the refined elegance of the flowers resembling the crests of exotic birds are ornamental plants very common in gardens.
Among the others variety we find the:
Strelitzia augusta or alba
With oblong leaves that can reach meters in length.
Also called giant sterlizia with leaves similar to those of the banana tree and able to reach up to 8 meters in height.
Where the best known cultivar is the Juncea variety.
Flowering of the sterlizia
Flowering occurs in period April – May.
THE flowers or rather the inflorescences persist for a long time on the plant.
Cultivation of Sterlizia
It prefers sunny places sheltered from the winds. It resists well even at low temperatures.
It prefers fertile, moist and well-drained soils.
It needs regular and constant watering during flowering and dry periods. Allow the soil surface to dry before watering later. During the winter months, the waterings must be reduced, making sure that the soil does not dry out.
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It prefers organic or granular slow release fertilizers specific for flowering plants.
Multiplication of Sterlizia
The strelizia reproduces by seed and by division of the tufts. Reproduction by seed takes time as the plants take about 5 years to reach maturity and emit the first flowers.
Division of the tufts of the sterlizia
To reproduce the sterlizia it is better to practice the division of root tufts, an operation that must be done with a well-sharpened and disinfected knife.
The divided plants should be placed in moist soil enriched with peat in shady areas to facilitate rooting and then proceed with the planting in the ground. With this method of propagation, the first flowers will sprout within a couple of years.
Pruning of the Sterlizia
To favor the stumbling and the emission of new leaves it is good to cut, at about 2 cm from the ground, the damaged ones using shears sharpened and disinfected.
Diseases, parasites and cures of the strelizia
There sterlizia it is a plant quite resistant to diseases and parasites but is very afraid of root rot caused by water stagnation.
Elimination of withered flowers, dry leaves or leaves damaged by winter frost.
Uses and things to know
For ornamental purposes and as cut flowers to set up floral arrangements to embellish the interior of the house.
Why is Strelitzia called a bird of paradise?
The name has been attributed for the resemblance to a colored bird which is called the bird of paradise or in any case to its crest.
Is strelitzia poisonous?
It is a plant that if ingested by pets can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Strelitzia and meaning
In language of flowers strelitzia takes on the meaning of majesty, it was not by chance that it was donated to the women of the royal houses.