Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise)
Strelitzia is a genus of five species of bold evergreen perennials native to South Africa. Most form clumps of long-stalked, leathery, gray-green leaves reminiscent of those on the banana tree. Their flowers are spectacular, with beak-like bracts from which strikingly colored flowers open in succession. Resembling exotic birds, they typically bloom in the late winter or early spring, but they can flower at other times of the year, depending on latitude and climate. Bird of Paradise can be grown as outdoor perennials in USDA cold hardiness zones 9–11 or indoors as houseplants elsewhere.