Be still our hearts!

By Meghan Overdeep
July 11, 2019
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It's a bird, it's a flower, it's a… bird flower?

That's right. The latest unique plant to capture our imaginations boasts flowers resembling a flock of green hummingbirds in flight.

The green birdflower (Crotalaria cunninghamii) is a shrub native to Australia that's been experiencing a stateside surge in popularity after a photo of its bird-like flowers went viral on Reddit last month. According to Western Australia's Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority, this species of upright shrub related to peas and beans grows up to nine feet tall and has fuzzy, gray-green leaves. The plant, which can be found throughout the northern half of Australia, is defined by its clusters of purple-striped pea flowers. Each individual flower bears an uncanny resemblance to a bird that is attached by its "beak" (the calyx) to the stem, which is how it got its name.

If you can't make your way to Australia to view the green birdflower in its natural habitat, you'll be happy to learn that it's more than capable of thriving in the U.S. Better Homes & Gardens reports that the unique shrub is best suited for USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11, which include tropical areas in Southern California, Southern Florida, and Hawaii.

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Seeds are available for purchase on Etsy and Amazon. Green birdflowers do best in hot climates in sandy, well-drained soil with plenty of sunshine. Happy planting!

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