bird of paradise flower meaning

Bird of Paradise Flower (Strelitzia) Meaning and Symbolism

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane… no, it’s the Bird of Paradise flower!

This gorgeous flower is aptly named. Seeing one can cause you to stop dead in your tracks, your breath taken away by the flower’s delicate beauty. This tropical plant is quite the sight to behold, and if you’ve ever seen one, you likely already know that to be true.

However, did you know that the Bird of Paradise flower actually carries deep symbolism? Here are some of this eye-catching flower’s lesser-known meanings. 

What Does Bird of Paradise Mean?

Bird of Paradise is a flower with deep symbolism – but its etymological meaning makes a lot of sense.

There are actually five separate Bird of Paradise flowers, all of which are grouped beneath the scientific name of Strelitzia. The common name has a more obvious meaning – the Bird of Paradise flower looks exactly like a bird in flight!

However, the scientific name is derived from Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Married to King George III at the time when the flower was initially imported to England, the queen asked that the flower be named after her. 

What Do Bird of Paradise Flowers Symbolize?

There are many symbols associated with the Bird of Paradise flower. 

One of the most obvious is that the flower can represent the idea of paradise on Earth. It can also represent freedom and the ability to travel freely, something that makes sense given the flower’s close resemblance to a bird in flight. 

Bird of Paradise can also represent excellence, magnificence, and success – along with royalty and regality. It can symbolize faithfulness, particularly in romantic relationships, as well as optimism toward the future, too. 

This flower is one of the more unusual options used in bouquets and arrangements, but nonetheless, it’s one that’s sure to make a statement. 

There are multiple colors of the plant. Each variety has different sets of two contrasting colors, with the unique contrast itself bearing more meaning than individual colors. 

What is the Cultural Significance of a Bird of Paradise?

There are many meanings to the Bird of Paradise flower. In its native land, the flower is actually referred to as the crane flower. 

A lily that is native to South Africa, it is seen as a symbol of beauty and freedom in this country. It is also viewed as a symbol of royal lineage, particularly because it is tied directly to ruling families. Its gorgeous contrasting petals make it symbolic of general success, too. 

Though not commonly used as a birth flower for any month, it is a gift that is frequently given for ninth wedding anniversaries – it’s reminiscent of faithfulness. 

What is the Symbolism of a Bird of Paradise Tattoo?

The Bird of Paradise is often seen as a symbol of creativity, uniqueness, and your innate ability to stand out from the crowd. If any of these apply to you, a Bird of Paradise tattoo might be the perfect way to showcase your one-of-a-kind personality! 

When Should You Give Someone a Bird of Paradise?

There are many occasions in which it is more than appropriate to give someone a Bird of Paradise flower. One of these is on the ninth wedding anniversary for a married couple. The flower can also be given to people who are celebrating birthdays as well as individuals who need to be congratulated on a graduation, promotion, or some other kind of success. 

The Bird of Paradise flower is often given to people who are departing on long trips, too. 

*Photo by KarepaStock/depositphotos

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