Strelitzia reginae makes another appearance on Botany Photo of the Day, this time from a cut-flower market in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i.
In the previous entry, I off-handedly noted
its flowers are commonly seen in fairly expensive cut flower arrangements around the world
For one, expensive is of course relative to what one can afford. Secondly, I didn’t take into account regions where it is locally grown for the cut-flower industry. As you can see in the photo, it was retailing for $1.50/stem or 4 for $5.00 (USD). Wholesale prices for continental North America, by comparison, seem to be in the range of $3 to $5/stem (this is before retail mark-up!). Another reason to buy local!
Also known simply as strelitzia or crane flower, Strelitzia reginae is native to a small part of South Africa:
Strelitzia reginae occurs naturally only in South Africa along the eastern coast from Humansdorp to northern KwaZulu-Natal in coastal bush and thicket. It grows along river banks in full sun, however sometimes it occurs and flowers on margins of forest in shade.
Given its proximity to the ocean, I’m surprised that I’ve only been able to find a few photographs with Strelitzia reginae flowers in the foreground and the ocean in the background. One such photograph (and others of the plants in habitat) can be found on the Iziko Museums of South Africa Biodiversity Explorer site: Strelitzia reginae.
Kew’s Plants of the World Online has both a description of the plant and cultivation information: Strelitzia reginae. It includes a description of the modified flowers seen in this genus (or you can also consult the previous entry for that information).