Strelitzia nicolai White Bird-of-Paradise1
Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson2
White Bird-of-Paradise is most often planted for its large, banana-like leaves and upright, clumping stalks which give an exotic feel to the landscape (Fig. 1). Plants can reach 20 to 30 feet in height with a spread of 10 feet though they are often seen much smaller. The five to eight-foot-long, cold-tender leaves are arranged in a fanlike display from the erect trunks and appear much like Traveler’s-Tree. The lower trunk becomes clear of leaves and exposed as the older leaves drop off. Leaves rip along the veins as they are blown by strong winds.
Scientific name: Strelitzia nicolai Pronunciation: streh-LIT-see-uh NICK-oh-lye Common name(s): White Bird-of-Paradise, Giant Bird-of-Paradise Family: Strelitziaceae USDA hardiness zones: 9B through 11 (Fig. 2) Origin: not native to North America Uses: container or above-ground planter; suitable for growing indoors; near a deck or patio; specimen; no proven urban tolerance Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range Figure 1. Middle-aged White Bird-of-Paradise.
Crown density: open Growth rate: medium Texture: coarse
Leaf arrangement: alternate (Fig. 3) Leaf type: simple Leaf margin: entire Leaf shape: oblong Leaf venation: pinnate Leaf type and persistence: broadleaf evergreen; evergreen Leaf blade length: >36 inches Leaf color: green
Height: 20 to 30 feet Spread: 6 to 10 feet Crown uniformity: irregular outline or silhouette Crown shape: palm; upright
This document is adapted from Fact Sheet ST-604, a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date: October 1994. Edward F. Gilman, associate professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson,...