Catching the fleeting scenes of many splendored life with a camera.
'Look closely. The beautiful may be small' — Kant

12 October 2012

Strelitzia Reginae. Play of Light, Colour, Shadow and Form

Strelitzia (named after the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, birthplace of Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom) is a genus of five species of perennial plants, native to South Africa. A common name of the genus is bird of paradise flower,  in South Africa it's commonly known as a crane flower, though these names are also collectively applied to other species in the genus Strelitzia.

Its large leaves (30–200 cm long and 10–80 cm broad) are similar to a banana leaf, and form a fan-like crown of evergreen foliage. The flowers are pollinated by sunbirds, which perch on its spathe when visiting the plant; the weight of the bird opens the flower and the pollen is dumped onto the bird's feet, which is then transferred to the next flower it visits.
I never stop wondering what triggered the emergence and development of this beautiful symbiosis logic; or what determines the flower's shape and colour, in other words, why it is specifically the way it is (broader question: Why is everything the way it is?). Evolution alone doesn't provide a comprehensive answer, in my humble opinion.

Strelitzia reginae is indigenous to South Africa. To me some of the most stylish and elegant flowers, Strelitzia reginae florescence looks like a bright-coloured bird's head, hence the name Bird of Paradise.

Strelitzia reginae (Crane Flower) Bird of Paradise
(© 2012 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

Strelitzia reginae (Crane Flower) Bird of Paradise flower
(© 2012 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

Strelitzia reginae (Crane Flower) Bird of Paradise blossom
(© 2012 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

Strelitzia reginae (Crane Flower) Bird of Paradise flower and bud
(© 2012 LightColourShade. All rights reserved)

2 comments:

  1. A marvelous collection, as usual. And as to your question regarding evolution - it is a means of explaining HOW, and not WHY. If persons wants to use the theories of evolution to try to explain why things are, they run into some fundamental questions that cannot be answered, at least not by science. You run into the same thing with music - fundamentally, the why of music becomes the sticking point.
    I've got my own ideas...
    And thanks again for this little post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I totally agree, our knowledge hardly goes further than explaining How, and I'm afraid science poses more questions than answers. I just can't help myself wondering Why and trying to work out my own theories (basically for my own peace of mind)...

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