June 2nd – Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise

Easily distinguished, the Bird of Paradise flower (Strelitzia reginae) hails originally from South Africa, and takes it’s scientific name from Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen Consort of the UK and wife of King George III.

But I’m fond of them because it was the first thing I’d see out of my bedroom window as a kid.

Aside from the striking colours and easy identification, it’s the pollination process that’s the most interesting. It is usually carried by a bird, who lands on the extending edge of the flower, and inadvertently received a dose of pollen on its chest which is deposited on the stigma of the next flower the bird visits.

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