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Plantidote of the Day 2012-06-04

twig's picture

bird of paradise

Strelitzia reginae and Strelitzia nicolai

Common and giant, or white, birds of paradise

A tale of two birds of paradise, or BoPs, if you will. The first is the ordinary, run-of-the-mill, official LA City Flower, shown above. The second is the super-sized version, fondly known as Big Bird around here, which apparently traded in the brilliant (or what some might call garish) color scheme for a more subdued palette with a lot more height (see below).

Big Bird

Apologies for the crummy image quality on Big Bird -- there's a much better one here. The top of the plant, where you can sort of see the black and white "birds," is at least 20 feet off the ground, so it's much harder to shoot than the shorty version, which is only about three feet tall.

For years, I thought Big Bird was a banana tree. Then one day, my son, who was about 7 or 8, asked where the bananas were. Anyway, it took about ten minutes to discover that BoPs come in two sizes, and that my kid is smarter than me. (Actually, the second part was already pretty well established.) So, yes, we have no bananas. But we've got BoPs, big and small, for days!


Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

I mean, who knew? But it makes perfect sense -- trees are good for us, so it stands to reason poor people wouldn't be allowed to have them, at least not in abundance.

Obviously, the solution is to get rid of the poor people (I'm channeling Republicans today ;-)

insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

What those photos mean to me is in the wealthier neighborhoods, money and resources were allotted to care and nurture an urban forest. In poorer places, there is not enough money, water, resources to establish green.

Pity, We all benefit from swathing the planet in GREEN.