Why Strelitzia is called ‘Bird of Paradise’

Most of us know that the native South African plant Strelitzia is called a ‘Bird of Paradise’ but it may be for a different reason than you think. Most of us have been looking at it wrong – I know I have. A regular Reddit user, Charmito, posted the following pic and caption a few days ago, saying: “I’m 37 years old, and just today realized it’s called bird of paradise because it looks like the left picture, not the right… ”

bird of paradise

The Strelitzia is named after Queen Charlotte’s place of birth in the UK – Mecklenburg-Strelitz… but it’s more commonly called the bird of paradise because its flower looks similar to a bird of paradise. The plant is found around the world from Australia to France, and is even the floral emblem of Los Angeles… but it’s actually native to South Africa.

bird of paradise2

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