Latin name: Strelitzia reginae
Description: This must be one of the best known plants in the world, so why not try one in your garden! It is an evergreen, clump-forming perennial with long stalked, tough, leathery, blue-green leaves. The large beak-like flowers have three brilliant orange sepals and three vivid purple-blue petals in boat-shaped red-edged bracts from winter to spring. For the rest of the year it is a glorious and very tropical looking foliage plant.
Hardiness: Will take a few degrees of frost, for very short periods only, hence is excellent in warmer cities like London, especially if planted in a favourable location that is protected from desiccating winds. Otherwise, enjoy it flowering in your house/conservatory during the winter months, and then give it a holiday outside for the summer.
Position: Full sun
Soil: Well drained gritty poorish soil preferred. In containers, they are best left to get pot bound for the best flowers. Given lots of food they won’t flower
Water: Tolerates drought well and will get enough water from summer rains
Usage: In a position that shows off its colour and architectural shape for best effect