Strelitzia nicolai, Giant Bird of Paradise, White Bird of Paradise

Strelitzia nicolai

Giant Bird of Paradise, White Bird of Paradise
Family: Strelitziaceae
Origin: South Africa
USDA Zone: 9-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSmall tree 10-20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterUnusual colorWhite, off-white flowersPalm or palm-like plant

It has become very popular for indoor use over the last 10 to 15 years. It is used outdoors in both Florida and California as a landscape plant, where it can reach a height of 20 or more feet. The flowers can reach a size of 10-12 inches, but plants need to be a few years old before they will flower. Don't expect flowers indoors. Nicolai can handle a wide variety of soils and can grow in a variety of conditions. One condition that it cannot take is having extremely WET soil so it is best to keep it on the dry side. The "White Bird" isn't a small plant, but it is a very upright plant so it can fit into some tight spaces. Their large banana-shaped leaves add a rich tropical look to almost any interior. Growers usually use multiple plants to get a fuller plant.

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