Photograph of a close-up of the flowers from a Bird of Paradise plant, ca.1920. Parts of the flowers stick upwards making it appear like plumage. The ends are pointy, resembling birds' beaks.; "Sure to attract everyone's attention when it blooms, the Bird of Paradise plant is one of the most spectacular flowering plants that can be grown in the home. It may be slow growing, but its needs are very simple. Once the plant is mature enough to bloom, you'll be amazed as its flowers emerge, looking just like an exotic bird with orange and purple plumage. Even when this plant isn't in bloom, it offers very attractive leaves that resemble those of a banana plant. The Bird of Paradise plant (strelitzia reginae) is native to the sub-tropical areas of South Africa. For years, it was considered a collector's plant because it was difficult to find a nice specimen. With modern growing practices, Bird of Paradise plants are available more often, but are still a much-prized plant. They begin to bloom when they are about 4-5 years old and live on for years and years." -- unknown author.