Several sources say it was named for John Gillies, an early 19th century botanist in Argentina; but the Darwin Correspondence Online Database has a reference to a John Gillies (1792-1834) who was a naval surgeon who went to Buenos Aires in 1820 and collected plants in Chile and Argentina, returning to Scotland in 1829
The yellow bird-of-paradise is a small tree or shrub, originally from Argentina. The
plant has become naturalized through much of the American southwest. It is popular as
an ornamental plant. See also the red bird-of-paradise.
Identification: Plants are as high as 10' (3 m), spreading 4-6' (1.2-1.8 m).
Leaves are "bipinnate"—in opposing groups of opposing groups. Enlarge the photo below to
see the leaves. The fruits are curled fuzzy tan pods. The bright yellow flowers have long thin red