The city flower

Posted on | August 24, 2010 | 3 Comments

LA's city flower, the bird of paradise, is actually a native of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The image is a detail taken from "The Lilies," a Taschen collection of paintings of plants in the Liliaceae by botanical illustrator Pierre-Joseph Redouté. Click on the ikhamanga, aka Strelitzia reginae, aka bird of paradise, to find out more about "The Lilies" and the 18th century artist nicknamed 'Raphael of Flowers.'

A year after the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power began offering $1/square foot for home owners to rip out lawn, KPCC reports that the Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts is following suit. A teaser interview today by Patt Morrison with horticulturist Lili Singer, special projects director of the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers & Native Plants, will be followed by a longer appearance by Singer tomorrow on AirTalk.

By all means tune in because ripping out your lawn is the right thing to do, but tune in if you simply like plants. Many of you will know Singer from the garden show that she did for KCRW in the 1990s, others will have taken her newsletter, yet others will have followed her in the Los Angeles Times. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, there is a treat in store. Her presence on AirTalk makes it one phone-in program where even too-cool-for-school types should seriously consider dialing the expert. Singer’s kind, helpful, smart, funny and, best of all, back on the radio.


3 Responses to “The city flower”

  1. brian t
    August 25th, 2010 @ 2:00 am

    I lived in Natal for many years, and we just called the flower “Strelitzia”. The variant I remember the most also had some white in there among the orange and blue. I’ve never been to LA, and had no idea it was so popular there.

  2. Keith Malone
    August 25th, 2010 @ 10:16 am

    I remember the first time I saw our city flower and was surprised it was not native. Neither is our city tree, the coral tree.

    Hopefully, we’ll seen a change in the coming years.

  3. 55 gallon water barrel
    August 27th, 2010 @ 7:52 am

    It takes novel approaches like this one (i.e.:subsidy) to save water/money in the long run.

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