I love this exotic flower, the strelitzia. I’ve seen the often enough in florists and at garden centres, but I was lucky enough to see some growing almost wild in southern Spain where I took this photo.
They come originally from South Africa and were named after the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, where Queen Charlotte of England, the wife of King George III was born. Some varieties of strelitzia grow to more than 10 metres tall – really? Can you imagine that? How amazing! That variety has blue and white flowers, but there are varieties with many other colours. You can probably guess they are called bird of paradise flowers because they do really look like birds.
Strelitzia feature in my novel, ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’ – Tyche the main character receives a bouquet of them after a night of passion!