Strelitzia reginae ' Mandela's Gold' - Yellow Bird of Paradise - 5 seeds
Strelitzia reginae 'Mandela's Gold' is a rare yellow form of the well known Bird of Paradise, Strelitzia reginae.
'Mandela's Gold' is a stemless, evergreen clump-forming perennial with greyish green, banana like leaves grow to a height of about 1.5m and during Winter and Spring the large bird like flowers are held above the foliage on the tips of long, sturdy stalks.
The structure and pollination of the flowers is fascinating - the hard, beak-like sheath from which the flower emerges, is called the spathe, this is held at right angles to the stem, and has the appearance of a bird's head. Each spathe contains 4 to 6 flowers, and these emerge one at a time from the spathe. Each flower consists of 3 clear yellow sepals and 3 deep purple petals. The yellow sepals give the appearance of a crest on the 'bird's' head. Two of the purple petals are joined together around the stamens and the style to form an arrow like structure and the third purple petal is visible as a small scale.
Nectar is produced by a gland at the base of the flower, in fact, so much nectar is produced that it leaks out and drips down the side of the spathe. Although it is not certain exactly which bird is the pollinator, when it comes to feed on the nectar, it perches on the arrow-like purple petals, which open to expose the anthers and the sticky pollen adheres to the feet of the bird. The bird then transfers this pollen to the stigma of the next flower it visits.
Yellow flowering Strelitzias have been known for a number of years, plants have cropped up in France, California, Australia, Japan and in South Africa at a few locations in Eastern Cape and at Kirstenbosch and the Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens, but always as isolated specimens. Left to their own devices, the seeds from these yellow forms will not breed true as they will most likely have been pollinated by an orange plant. To get yellow progeny, two yellow plants must be crossed.
THIS SEED HAS BEEN HAND POLLINATED SO WILL GROW TRUE TO FORM!
Strelitzia reginae 'Mandela's Gold' is an easy plant to grow and will thrive in most soils. Ideal conditions are full sun, rich, well-drained loam soil with a pH of approximately 7.5, regular deep watering in Summer and liberal applications of fertiliser in early Summer.
In South Africa and other sunny countries, Strelitzias will also do well in semi-shade, but in less sunny regions, they need as much sun as they can get if they are to flower well. Once established, they can survive with very little water, and they are tolerant of wind and coastal conditions.
BUT 'Mandela's Gold' is sensitive to cold and needs a sheltered position against a north or west facing wall in areas that experience frost, and is not suitable for permanent outdoor cultivation in regions that experience a winter low of -7 to -1ºC.
5 premium quality hand pollinated seeds shipped on receipt of cleared funds.