Sure to attract everyone's attention when it blooms, the Bird of Paradise plant is one of the most spectacular flowering plants that can be grown in the home. It may be slow growing, but its needs are very simple. Once the plant is mature enough to bloom, you'll be amazed as its flowers emerge, looking just like an exotic bird with orange and purple plumage. Even when this plant isn't in bloom, it offers very attractive leaves that resemble those of a banana plant. The bird of paradise plant, Strelitzia reginae, is native to subtropical areas of South Africa. For years, it was considered a collector's plant because it was difficult to find a nice specimen. With modern growing practices, bird of paradise plants are available more often, but are still much prized. They begin to bloom when they are 4-5 years old and live on for years and years.