Birds of Paradise Flower Meaning, Symbolism, and Uses

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This beautiful flower is most fabulously known to resemble a beautiful bird! It may not be a real bird, but how its flowers are intricately formed and how beautiful and rich the colors are just might mistake it for one! The Strelitzia flowers hail from a country as rich and diverse as its colors. 

These exotic flowers come in many vibrant colors and each color sends a unique meaning and symbolism. And the fun part about this is that it isn’t just one solid color but a number of color combinations. 

An orange or white bird of paradise flower means diversity and peace. Meanwhile, a red and yellow bird of paradise symbolizes love and joy. And lastly, a blue and purple bird of paradise represents loyalty and regality.

History of the Birds of Paradise Flowers

The Birds of Paradise were first defined in 1884 as an upright flower with a long stem and three yellow or orange sepals and three irregularly shaped blue petals. The arrangement of such sepals and petals gave this flower its resemblance to the actual bird of paradise or a bird in flight. A true bird of paradise is a showy tropical bird or giant bird native to South Africa but is now naturalized in North, Central, and South America.

It is a perennial ornamental flowering plant with the flower blooms from early spring to late winter. The flower belongs to the genus Strelitzia of the family Strelitziaceae with only 5 known floral species! That’s just how rare and one-of-a-kind these flowers are! The Birds of Paradise was first discovered from South Africa by English explorer Sir Joseph Banks in the jungles of the Cape of Good Hope. He named the genus after Queen Charlotte, the Princess of Mecklenburg Strelitz and wife of King George III of England.

The Bird of Paradise is currently grown in the Royal Botanic Gardens or Royal Gardens In South Africa. In the Kew Gardens, the flowers are grown in areas that mimic its natural habitat. It requires full sun conditions and watering every one to two weeks. Enjoy these flowers blooming for the first time after 6 years of caring – yes, it will take that long!

The Birds of Paradise go by other names such as the Crane’s bill or Crane flower. Its scientific name is known as Strelitzia reginae. Other species of this flower include the White Birds of Paradise (Strelitzia alba) and Giant Birds of Paradise or commonly known as Wild Banana plant (Strelitzia nicolai). And just some bird of paradise flower facts, these flowers are very closely related to the real banana!

bird of paradise flower

Symbolism of Bird of Paradise Blossoms

Since the bird of paradise flower the bird in flight, is a tropical flower, it holds such rich symbolic meaning. The bird of paradise represents a stature of confidence and radiating beauty! Besides this, the Eastern Cape species is also a floral motif in Los Angeles, California while the common Crane flower (Strelitzia reginae) is the official flower of Natal, Africa.

The bird of paradise flower represents faithfulness and to stay truthful and loyal to only one person, your loved one, for your entire life. It is believed that when a woman hands this blossom to a man, it is a perfect symbol of promise of her faithfulness and loyalty to him forever! Not surprisingly, it also indicates good fortune and the idea that something strange yet wonderful is about to happen.

A bird of paradise flower symbolizes freedom and the strength of overcoming obstacles in work and personal life. In earlier times, the bird of paradise symbolize a king and his royal family. The flower is most noted in one of the famous paintings of Georgia O’Keefe titled the White Bird Paradise in 1940.

Meaning of Bird of Paradise Florets

The name of this stunning bloom is already striking! Add in the beautiful colors of its sepals and petals, and you get a flower out of the ordinary with a flower meaning sending a strong message! 

These beautiful flowers are such a blessing from the rich country of Africa. The bird of paradise flower meaning stands for joyfulness, paradise, and freedom. Also, a bird of paradise meaning can be about splendor, anticipation, and excitement.

Here are some other bird of paradise meanings behind each of its stunning colors.

What does a White Bird of Paradise Flower Mean?

A white bird of paradise flower means peace and purity. Just like how a bird is peaceful and innocent in nature, the Crane flower takes after this as well.

What does a Red Bird of Paradise Flower Represent?

When you pick red flowers, it is a symbol of expressing love. Therefore these red flowers, specifically, a bird of paradise, represent passion and romance. 

What does a Yellow Bird of Paradise Blossom Symbolism?

Joyfulness and glee are symbolized by the yellow bird of paradise flowers. The erect stance of these flowers with what appears to be the beak chin up high is also symbolic of pride, confidence, and incoming new opportunities.

What does an Orange Bird of Paradise Flower Represent?

Romantic surprises and being diverse are what orange bird of paradise flowers represent. An orange bird of paradise flower stands out in a field of green leaves and plants because of its striking bright orange petals!

What does a Blue Bird of Paradise Floret Indicate?

A blue bird of paradise flower indicates unwavering loyalty and devout faithfulness. The blue colors of this flower is a representation of a pure and kind heart.

What does a Purple Bird of Paradise Flower Mean?

Just like the lavish culture of the African country, this flower is pure regality and a symbol of unquestionable honor. 

What is the Cultural Significance of a Bird of Paradise Floret?

The cultural significance of the bird of paradise flower is very lavish in South Africa. The flower beautifully symbolizes the diverse ethnic nature of the nation and is embellished as an iconic flora in national tourism advertisements and promotions. 

The Africans know the bird of paradise flower through the other name Mandela’s gold. This name was bestowed upon the flowers after the first-ever black president of South Africa, Sir. Nelson Mandela. The name is symbolic of the display of new colors of the South African flag.

Diving into other nations, the bird of paradise flower has a unique cultural importance in Hawaii. For the locals, the flower name means “little globe” and often represents the magnificence in life. Hawaiian culture views these plants as the official flower for a ninth wedding anniversary. It is said to represent one who has a good perspective on life.

What is the Spiritual Influence of a Bird of Paradise Flower?

You wouldn’t think that flowers like these had a spiritual meaning behind them. In fact, birds of paradise flowers and their majestic erect nature help heighten one’s spiritual enlightenment and spiritual ascension. It improves one’s intuition and spiritual sense, activating the second chakra that helps to take on risks and actions towards what one truly desires. 

Just like how the birds lift off before a flight, this flower will remind you to have spiritual faith and make the leap and take a chance too!

What does a Bird of Paradise Floral Tattoo Symbolize?

The Birds of Paradise floral tattoo design is just as unique as you are! It is a symbol of being original and truly one of a kind. Just like how only a few species (there are only five to be exact), a tattoo like this is an embodiment of your confidence and innate ability to stand out in any crowd! 

Uses of Birds of Paradise

Now you would probably think that these flowers are only meant to be garden ornamental blossoms and bouquets or cut flowers. Well, you aren’t wrong there! There’s a little more use to this flower than you already seem to know. 

It is the perfect romantic gift to your partner or wonderful gifts to friends as indoor plants or floral arrangements. They are specifically a great gift for loved ones during their wedding anniversary. The most surprising use for this plant is that its seeds can be used to churn or sour milk! 

Crane flowers have a known antipathogenic property used to treat a variety of ailments. In traditional medicine practice in South Africa, the plant and its flowers are used as a remedy to treat urinary tract infections. The Zulus make an infusion out of the crushed roots to treat symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases. 

Meanwhile, the inflorescence can also be made into an infusion that can be used as a treatment for inflamed glands. A word of caution that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.

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