The bird of paradise flower is an incredible feat of nature. Its glorious orange-yellow sepals fan out dramatically from the main flower bract, with dark-blue petals complementing the vibrant colour palette. It stands tall and proud, and is a wonderful feature in any floral arrangement.
Also known as the crane flower or by its botanical name strelitzia reginae, the bird of paradise is so called for its similarity to a bird in flight, particularly the striking rainforest bird of the same name.
It’s no wonder that flower lovers love to display this unique specimen in their homes. But how can we best display the bird of paradise? Read on as we explore the plant’s history, how to care for cut flowers and the best way to include the bird of paradise in a flower arrangement.
Why We Love the Bird of Paradise Paradise Flower Arrangement
History of the bird of paradise
The bird of paradise plant is native to South Africa, where it is commonly called a crane flower for its resemblance to the head of a crowned crane.
It is said that in 1772, Francis Masson, a Scottish botanist working as the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew’s first official plant hunter, travelled on the HMS Resolution to Africa to collect plants. And the bird of paradise was one of 500 plants selected and sent back to England.
The exotic plant was named strelitzia reginae in honour of Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who was an amateur botanist and helped to expand the gardens at Kew.
About the bird of paradise
This beautiful plant is said to symbolise freedom, joy and good fortune. It can also represent faithfulness and love – and is the official flower for a ninth wedding anniversary.
Birds of paradise make for wonderful house plants or garden additions in sunny, warm climates. But it’s important to keep in mind that small amounts ingested by children can result in mild gastrointestinal symptoms. They can also be toxic to household pets.
A bird of paradise flower arrangements also make for a dramatic table centrepiece or visual anchor point in any room of the house. They’re wonderful to have on display at events, such as weddings, anniversaries and birthdays.
How to create a bird of paradise flower arrangement
Birds of paradise can be the perfect focal point to tie an arrangement together, whether as a single stem or cluster of flowers. A few long stems in a tall vase can look stunning on their own, or teamed with some vibrant greenery to bush out the arrangement.
However, if you wish to create a larger floral arrangement, consider flowers of different heights, shapes and textures that will complement each other. A spiky bird of paradise looks great with softer gerberas or chrysanthemums, for example. Or consider some of The Flower Farm’s other locally grown goodies, from roses and carnations to sunflowers and snapdragons. There are no wilted supermarket flowers on this farm, only quality, long-lasting delights.
A tropical theme can work well here, and the flower will look great combined with orchids and/or lilies. Alternatively, design your floral arrangement around the bird of paradise colour palette and choose accompanying flowers in vibrant oranges, yellows and reds.
Vessel choice is also important for your bird of paradise flower arrangement as the cut flower is tall and weighty. Its stem is rigid and will need a tall, heavy vase or jug to support it. You can use the flower’s height to your advantage by designing a vertical arrangement, either as a right-side, left-side or equilateral triangle arrangement. These certainly make for a visually striking arrangement.
Keep in mind that odd numbers of flowers also tend to look more natural in an arrangement. So one or three birds of paradise may be the perfect amount.
Need help with your bird of paradise flower arrangement?
If you’re after a bird of paradise flower arrangement but don’t know where to start, Brisbane flower experts at The Flower Farm can help. Our experienced and knowledgeable team of farmer-florists not only grow a wide range of local, seasonal blooms for your pleasure, but also have the know-how to style them into gorgeous floral arrangements.
Get in touch to find out what’s in season now or for expert floral design advice.