No prizes for guessing how this plant got its popular name. Its flowers are gorgeous and from a distance look a bit like birds of paradise. Native to South Africa, it’s a real high-impact plant, with leaves that can grow up to 200cm long (in the wild it could grow almost four-metres tall). It’s so large that in the wild it’s pollinated not by insects but by birds. Sunbirds, to be exact.
British weather conditions aren’t warm enough for it to live outside year-round, but it does very well as an indoor plant. As long as you treat it well you can expect to be rewarded with those impressive flowers in winter and spring. Encourage flowering by using fertiliser once a month in spring and summer.
Make sure you give it plenty of room to grow. This bird of paradise likes to spread its wings.
Did you know?
The bird of paradise plant is so revered in South Africa that it’s featured on the 50 cent coin.