"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower!"
Oh how I love autumn, with its crisp, cool mornings and beautiful colours! It's here in full force now! No more open sandals, but suits and shoes for work and little cardigans! We had lunch with friends over the long week-end and I took this photograph from their front door. Aren't the colours just amazing - still so much green, but that burnt orange is my favourite.
The Strelitzia is a perenial plant native to South Africa. It's common name is "bird of paradise" because of its supposed resemblance to the crane, which is out national bird. I have never seen such large "bush" of these flowers before! Gordon and Les have one growing in their garden - it's in full bloom at the moment and is quite spectacular!
The flowers are produced in a horizontal cluster and are pollinated by sunbirds who use the spathe as a perch. The weight of the bird opens this spathe and releases pollen onto the birds feet which is then deposited on the next flower it visits.
Can you see the resemblance between the Blue Crane (our national bird) and the Strelitzia?