Bird of Paradise is a gorgeous plant known for its orange flowers. Its scientific name is Strelitzia reginae and it is often used for cut flowers. However, there are numerous Bird of Paradise plants and not all of them are orange. There is a very beautiful white variety that can also make an excellent garden plant. Known as White Bird of Paradise, this variety has been a popular house plant in the past few decades.

Basic Plant Information

White Bird of Paradise plant has huge, banana-like leaves. The leaves grow from clumping stalks. The leaves are fan-like and are smaller at first but they can get very large when the plant matures. After some time, the old leaves fall off and expose the trunk.

This plant can be a great addition to many landscape designs, particularly tropical ones. The leaves have a fan-like position on the upper part of the trunks. The leaves are evergreen but are sensitive to strong winds. In order to keep your plant tidy it is best to remove ragged leaves from time to time.

These plants can thrive outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9B throughout 11. The plant reaches the height of 20 to 30 feet and it can spread 6 to 10 feet. It has a moderate growth rate. The plant is used outdoors as a landscape plant or it can be a potted plant on a deck, patio or terrace. It is also possible to grow these lovely plants indoors.

This plant tends to grow in clusters. It has multiple stems growing out of a single base. This makes this plant resemble a palm tree. The main difference is that it is much thinner than most plants.

White Bird of Paradise is native to South Africa. This is a popular plant in Florida and California, where it is grown outdoors as a garden plant. White Bird of Paradise has been a popular garden plant for decades. However, its popularity grew in the late 1970s, when the magazine “Architectural Digest” did a photo shoot of a Madison Ave apartment. The photo shoot was such a success that it made White Bird of Paradise into a very popular plant.

Flowers

White Bird of Paradise plant is known for its gorgeous flowers. The main flower color is white, cream and gray. The flowers grow at the point where the leaf fan protrudes from the stem. The flowers tend to be very large. They have a light blue tongue that sits in a purplish bract. There are also triangular seed capsules.

The flowers are big and can reach a size of 10 to 12 inches.

However, it is important to note that the plant needs to reach maturity before it flowers. This can take a few years. Unfortunately, this plant rarely flowers indoors so this is why it’s often used in arrangements.

Fun Facts

Here are some interesting facts about White Bird of Paradise plant:

  • White Bird of Paradise has such lovely and glossy leaves that they are sometimes used as plates in certain seafood restaurants.
  • These plants are often used to give a tropical atmosphere to any landscape. They are often used in pool sides, patios, restaurant gardens, hotels, and more.
  • Roots of this plant are not aggressive.
  • White Bird of Paradise has a moderate tolerance to drought.
  • White Bird of Paradise plants are upright so they can fit into tight spaces.
  • To get a fuller plant, use multiple White Bird of Paradise Plants. This will make the arrangement look bigger and richer.

Photo credit: museumdetoulouse Floraison de Strelitzia nicolai via photopin (license)

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