The wrong daffodils
Top Ten New Perennials

White Bird of Paradise

Strelitzia_nicolai500cc Yes, yes… I worked in the Palm House at Kew so I should know this plant. Well, perhaps I did water it every day, but that was a long long time ago - perhaps I’ve just forgotten it. But coming across it in the new catalog from Stokes Tropicals that just arrived it really looked amazing. Strelitzia nicolai, it’s called and it’s a huge, 20ft, white-flowered version of the familiar orange Bird of Paradise. Likes the same conditions, too, so shouldn’t be too tricky to grow – if you have a conservatory big enough or if you garden in zone 10… Florida perhaps.

Then I found it on the University of British Columbia’s exceptional Botany Photo of the Day blog – with some startling pictures.

And all I can say is this:
1. Go check it out on Botany Photo of the Day blog here
2. If you’re in the US you can order a plant from Stokes Tropicals here
3. If you’re in the UK, the RHS PlantFinder lists a good number of mail order stockists here

Enough said.


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Graham, they're quite common -- Home Depot common -- throughout nominally zone 9 California. Like bananas, their leaves shred in the wind. And unlike S. reginae, the inflorescences barely protrude from the base of the the leaf petioles, so they can be hard to distinguish. Still, they really are amazing things, aren't they?

Janet Cubey

This is a fantastic plant, isn't it. The best specimen that I know of is in Stellenbosch, SA in the Botanical Gardens there - well it was 11 years ago when I last visited. Do go and see it if you ever have the opportunity.

Back in Britain, there is one in flower in The Glasshouse at RHS Garden, Wisley at the moment.

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