The Signs of Spring in San Diego Give Way to The Opening of My First Bird of Paradise Bloom
Have you ever wondered how these blooms (Stelitzia), native to South Africa, got their name ?
I decided to look this up and as expected they were named the Bird of Paradise because they resemble a bird in flight. They are also called the "Crane " flower shaped like a bird's beak and plumage. My photo is the first stage of the bloom and is a bit short on all the eventual plumage but it will pop additional new flowers over the next few days. When the heads, which are called spathe, first developed I cut about dozen and put them in the vase and was expecting they would open to reveal the actual blooms. They didn't and I learned even more about these flowers. They grow and mature before the sheath will split open and the flowering parts ( 3 orange sepals and 3 blue petals, 2 of which are joined together to make an arrow like nectary) begins to raise up to create the part of the flower we recognize. The hard beak like sheath makes for a durable perch for the sunbirds which pollinate the flowers that will emerge only one at a time. I simply cut them too early.