Flower of the year 2004
The ‘Stelitzia’ or as it is better known ‘Bird Of Paradise’ is an instantly recognizable flower to most people nowadays all over the world but it actually has its origins in South Africa. A little known fact is that the Bird of Paradise is actually a member of the banana family! It gets its name from the shape of the flower which bears an uncanny resemblance to a Bird of Paradise. It is also known as the ‘Crane Flower’ for the same reason. This beautiful flower comes in a small variety of colours but the colours most often seen are orange and blue/purple. These plants can be grown surprisingly easily in the more temperate regions of the globe although surprisingly it can withstand temperatures as low as -5 degrees centigrade. The Bird of Paradise is most familiar to many people as a tropical flower seen in a florist or as part of a display.
Using the Bird of Paradise in decoration
The Bird of Paradise is an extremely long lasting cut flower particularly if the purple flowers are removed as they start to wilt allowing younger flowers to emerge. It is also a super flower to use alone in very structural arrangements, the flowers creating a stunning focal point that will get everyone talking.
The foliage of this plant is also spectacular with huge long leaves which are also rigid enough to use easily as part of an arrangement or bouquet providing bold shapes to add weight to be bottom of the arrangement. This flower is easy to use to create stunning effects whether as a huge arrangement for an event or as a focal point in the home. A down side is that they can be rather expensive but their longevity more than makes up for it as does their beauty.