This seed is from a bird of paradise plant ('Strelitzia reginae'). Native to South Africa, the plant has a distinctive orange and blue flower, resembling an exotic bird, from which it takes its name (courtesy of Annie Cavanagh / Wellcome images). Scanning electron micrograph.
Why was this image first created?
"I am a botanical artist so plants, pollens and seeds are my passion. I was commissioned to paint a watercolour of a bird of paradise plant, so I sent off to a specialist nursery to obtain the seeds in case I had to grow one. It turns out I didn't because a local nursery had a magnificent specimen already. "When the seeds arrived, they were so beautiful and different that I thought they would make an interesting electron micrograph image." Annie said.
What does a bird of paradise plant look like fully flowered?
The bird of paradise plant, also known as the crane flower, is depicted here in bloom.
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