Introduced; North America, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, and Oceania.
The Bird-of-paradise, Strelitzia reginae Aiton, of the closely related family Strelitziaceae, is an acaulescent rhizomatous herb often cultivated in the western and southern United States. It is not known to reproduce outside of cultivation, but it can persist for very long periods on abandoned ground in southern California. Its leaves are in two ranks; the sheaths do not overlap and do not form a pseudostem. The petioles are long, and the blades are glabrous but often strongly glaucous, and have parallel lateral veins diverging from a prominent midrib. The inflorescence is a single cincinnus, enclosed within a large bract, with the mature flowers projecting laterally. The perianth is large and showy, with three orange sepals and three dark blue petals; one petal is short, the other two are long and enfold the style and the five fertile stamens, forming a prominent arrow-shaped structure. The fruit is a many-seeded capsule.
Genus Genera 1, species 225 (1 species in the flora).