Skip to Content

Strelitzia Augusta vs. reginae: The Key Differences

Strelitzia reginae and Augusta have similar appearances. There is some difference between them when you look at them closely, but it is hard to tell from a glance.

You may also wonder which is best suited for indoor use as a houseplant. You may also be interested in the differences in how to grow them and their ornamental appeal.

Here, we’ll break down the distinctions between Strelitzia reginae and Augusta in great depth. Then, we will talk in great detail about everything, from the differences in scientific ecology to the different types of species.

Strelitzia Augusta and Strelizia reginae

Basic Information About Augusta

Augusta grows in the wild from southern Mozambique to northern South Africa. The flowers are similar but more extensive than those of Strelitzia reginae, earning it the name Giant White Bird of Paradise.

It is the largest member of the Strelitzia genus and can grow as tall as a tree. It is one of nature’s largest plants and flowers, reaching heights of more than 32 feet in some cases.

The name “Strelitzia Augusta” was originally a different name for another species, Strelitzia alba. However, since the two species look alike, they were brought together accidentally.

Scientific name/English nameStrelitzia nicolai/Giant white bird of paradise
AKAWild banana
Family/GenusStrelitziaceae/Genus Strelitzia
Characteristics/morphologyevergreen perennial
plant height7-10m
place of originMadagascar, South Africa

Basic Information on Strelitzia Regine and Augusta

I will start with the biology and characteristics of each Strelitzia reginae and Augusta.

Scientific name/English nameBird of paradise/Strelitzia reginae
AKACrane flower
Family/GenusStrelitziaceae/Genus Strelitzia
Characteristics/morphologyEvergreen perennial
Plant height3-6 feet
Place of originSouth Africa

Strelitzia reginae is from South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. It was found around the 18th a century and was given the name “Bird of paradise” because its flowers look like those of a bird from Papua New Guinea.

With its large, banana-like leaves and exotic flowers, this plant has established itself as a member of the Strelitzia genus and is now a popular houseplant.

Difference Between Strelitzia reginae and Augusta

Both plants and flowers are classified in the same genus, Strelitzia. They are often confused with “Strelitzia reginae” and “Augusta” because of their similar flower and leaf shapes when seen from a distance.

Although they are different varieties and members of the same family, they are quite different in appearance, including flower color, leaf size, and overall appearance, as summarized in the table below.

Plant height3-6 feet3-4 inches
Appearanceslim figureStout body

I will explain the distinction between Strelitzia reginae and Augusta in detail here.

1- Flower Difference

Strelitzia reginae and Augusta Flower Difference

Both Strelitzia reginae and Augusta have similar flower structures.

The part that looks like a bird’s beak is a leaf called a bract, from which the sepals, petals, pistils, and stamens grow.

The parts that look like petals are the calyx, and the actual flower is the blue part that extends from the gap between the calyxes. A pistil and a stamen are attached to the tip of the petal.

However, when comparing Strelitzia reginae and Augusta flowers, there is a clear difference in color and size.

Strelitzia reginae develops orange sepals from thin multi-colored green, red, and orange spathes, while Augusta develops white sepals from huge black spathes.

In addition, the flower stems of Strelitzia reginae grow long as if standing up to the sky, but the flower stems of Augusta are short, and there is also a difference in that the flower stems grow from the central stem as if you can see the face.

Augusta has many flowers that bloom from the ground in the natural world, so it is easy to identify.

2- Leaf Difference

Strelitzia reginae and Augusta Leaf Difference

The genus Strelitzia is characterized by large banana-like leaves.

However, due to the difference in growth size, Strelitzia reginae has long, narrow, dull, glossy, dark green leaves, while Augusta has wide, large, bright, glossy green leaves.

In addition, depending on the individual Strelitzia reginae, the central part of the leaf vein may turn red.

3-Difference in Plant Height

Strelitzia reginae, the smallest of the Strelitzia genus, grows to a maximum height of about  6 feet. On the other hand, the large Augusta can grow up to 10 meters in height.

Looking at both species, Strelitzia reginae is slimmer, and Augusta is sturdy.

Which Do You Recommend, Strelitzia Reginae Or Augusta?

Now that we know the differences in characteristics and biology, it is difficult to know which is ultimately recommended for indoor houseplants. As it turns out, the key is what you want in an ornamental plant.

Strelitzia Reginae: For Those Who Also Want to Enjoy The Flowers

Strelitzia reginae has bright orange flowers. Strelitzia reginae is a good choice if you want a houseplant that can also enjoy its flowers.

Because it grows small, it blooms more easily than the larger Augusta and can be planted in a pot for ornamental purposes.

Moreover, once it blooms, it will bloom every year, so you can enjoy it for a relatively long period.

Also, Strelitzia reginae grown in pots does not grow large, and even if it grows, its plant height is, about 1 meter. It is recommended for those who want a medium-sized houseplant.

Strelitzia Augusta: Those Who Want To Place Large Foliage Plants

Augusta, which grows like a tree, is recommended for those who want to put a large foliage plant in their room.

The plant height exceeds 6 feet even when planted in a pot; if repotted regularly, it can grow to over 9 feet.

It is more spectacular than medium shrub foliage plants and has a robust presence.

However, it is difficult to appreciate it in a potted plant because it is difficult for flowers to bloom due to their large size. It is said that even if planted in the ground, it will not bloom unless it grows to a certain size.

Some aspects cannot be pruned, and when it grows too big, they cannot be cut back. If the offspring grows, dividing is the only way to scale down, so be careful.

Digression: Difference between Strelitziaceae and Musaceae

Strelitzia is characterized by its resemblance to bananas; until 2003, the genus Strelitzia was classified in the family Basidiaceae, to which bananas belong.

However, it was divided into the Strelitzia family and treated as a separate species. The Strelitziaceae family now consists of only seven species: five in the genus Strelitzia, one in the Ravenala madagascariensis or travelers palm, and one in the genus Phenakospermum.

You may wonder, Is Travellers Palm the same as birds of paradise? Read this article to clear up the confusion. 

Plants of the Musaceae family have tall stems and staggered leaves like a single tree. It is characterized by the flowers blooming like a rope extending from the tip of the stem.

On the other hand, Strelitzia has beautiful bird-like flowers and bears small fruits that reach the season, completely different from the banana.

However, many old documents refer to the genus Strelitzia as Musaceae. It is not a different species, so please do not make a mistake.

Key Takeaways

Strelitzia reginae and Augusta are difficult to distinguish by appearance. However, once they flower and grow large, you will notice the difference in their appearance.

Since they grow up in the same places, they require the same environment and care.

However, it is important to compare the differences before deciding if you are purchasing a plant for ornamental or interior purposes. If you remember, Strelitzia reginae is to enjoy flowers, and Strelitzia Augusta, if you want something big and magnificent, you will have less trouble deciding which one to buy.

I hope you find the right houseplants for you to enjoy a wonderful green life.

Sharing is caring!