Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Temple of Flora: Strelitzia reginae

Strelitzia reginae, Bird of Paradise, shown in a colored aquatint by Peter Henderson, from an engraving by R. Cooper. This illustration was originally included in Dr. Robert John Thornton's The Temple of Flora (1798-1807), but when the engravings were issued as a book in 1812, this illustration was replaced with another.

A few facts about Strelitzia reginae
1. The queen commemorated in the plant's name is Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen consort to George III.
2. The plant is native to South Africa.
3. It forms large clumps of stiff, evergreen leaves.
4. It is widely used as a landscape plant along roadsides in Southern California, where the display is sufficiently extravagant as to be almost banal.

You can decide for yourself whether the plant actually resembles a bird of paradise.

A few facts about The Temple of Flora

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