Most birds of paradise plant varieties exhibit glossy, large leaves reminiscent of the banana plant since they come from the same family.
However, they belong to two different genera, Strelitzia and Caesalpinia, from which they are further classified, depending on their specific features.
Strelitzia reginae, also called crane flower, is the most widespread variety of the bird of paradise plants. It’s native to South Africa and common in the northern states of America.
The white bird of paradise plant is native to South Africa, but hardy in the USDA zones 9-11. It’s a robust species in the genus strelitzia, reaching up to 20 feet tall.
The yellow bird of paradise is a shrubbier variety in the genus Caesalpinia. It is native to Argentina and Uruguay and widespread in the tropical regions of the U.S
The Mexican bird of paradise is indigenous in Northern Mexico and belongs to the Caesalpinia genus. It’s hardy in the USDA zones 8-11.
The strelitzia juncea is a unique variety of strelitzia plants. Other varieties have large, broad leaves but strelitzia juncea has very long, thin clustered leaves resembling reeds.
Strelitzia juncea is a dwarf variety, growing to a maximum height of about 4-6 feet.