Named for Countess von Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen of George III.
a.Any of several perennial plants of the genus Strelitzia (family Strelitziaceae), especially S. reginae and S. alba, with long, rigid leaves, and stiff flowers of orange, yellow, and purple; pisang sense 2 a.b.Its flower.See also crane flower, wild banana (wild sense a).
1789W. AitonHortus KewensisI. 285Strelitzia...Canna-leav’d Strelitzia. Nat. of the Cape of Good Hope.
1795C.R. Hopsontr. ofC.P. Thunberg’s Trav.I. 191The Strelitsia, with its yellow flowers and blue nectarium, grew near this spot, and was one of the most beautiful plants, of which the bulbs were procured to send to Europe.
1797J. Barrow inD. FairbridgeLady Anne Barnard (1924) 50I found a new Strelitzia, a curious plant which will be a very acceptable thing in England. I sent half a dozen bulbs by the Hope.
1815J. Mackrill Diary. 103The seed..so much like that of the Strelizia is it the same?
1836A.F. GardinerJourney to Zoolu Country 17We slept well under the shade of some strelitza trees (very similar to wild bananas).
1847J. BarrowAutobiog. Memoir 160I observed, at a little distance, a whole line of strelitzias in full flower, which, on approaching, I was pleased to find were not of the species reginae, but a new species (at least in England), with pointed instead of spoon-shaped leaves, and from six to ten feet long.
1971S. Afr. Panorama Aug. 19Flower arrangements display South African flora such as the tangerine-and-blue strelitzia.
1986M. RamgobinWaiting to Live 7They saw the hundreds upon hundreds of strelitzia plants with their pointed buds. Most were still half-opened.
1987E. Prov. Herald 29 Apr. 10The new Uitenhage logo depicts a Cape house and strelitzia, a plant which grows from the Tsitsikamma Forest to Natal.
1989H.P. Toffoli inStyle Jan. 57Those puny little strelitzias in the hot-house at Kew Gardens always bring lumps to the throats of homesick South Africans.
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