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Strelitziaceae

Strelitziaceae

Strelitziaceae is a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants. The plants are very similar in appearance and growth habit to members of the related families Heliconiaceae and Musaceae (banana family). The genera of Strelitziaceae have been included in Musaceae in some classifications, but are generally recognized as a separate family in more recent treatments such as the APG II system (2003). The APG II system assigns Strelitziaceae to the order Zingiberales in the commelinid clade.

Strelitziaceae includes three genera, all occurring in tropical to subtropical regions: Strelitzia with 5 species in southern Africa, Ravenala with a single species in Madagascar, and Phenakospermum with a single species in northern South America. The best known species is the bird-of-paradise flower Strelitzia reginae, grown for its flowers worldwide in tropical and subtropical gardens, and a well known flower in floristry. The other species of Strelitzia have less colourful flowers and are grown instead for their striking foliage. Also grown for its foliage is the traveller's tree, Ravenala madagascariensis.

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