Although commonly known as Bird of Paradise, this shrub is not related to the Bird of Paradise flower genus Strelitzia. It is a striking ornamental plant native to South America, mainly Argentina and Uruguay, a fast-growing tough evergreen shrub or small tree with clusters of yellow flowers with protruding red stamens. It is in flower from July to August and attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by insects. Medicine men of peoples indigenous to the Amazon Rainforest used this plant for curing fever, sores, and cough, although the seeds and the green seed pods are toxic. The genus name honors Andrea Cesalpini (1524/25-1603), Italian botanist, philosopher, and physician to Pope Clement VIII while the specific epithet honors John Gillies (1792-1834), Scottish naval surgeon, who collected plants in Chile and Argentina.