Here's a slightly unusual shot of a Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) flower. This shows the view directly down the tube that leads to the nectar. Heres the more conventional side profile. All these shots are of the cultivar "Mandela's Gold" which is a bit yellower than the more orange form usually seen. So why do they have this weird form? What could pollinate the flower and whats that big green fleshy bit at the bottom for? At Kirstenbosch botanic gardens a couple of quiet minutes observation will give you the answer.
The weird green fleshy bit is a perch for the pollinator; a sunbird. This is the more dramatically coloured male bird. The females are a drab brown. I'm afraid I haven't tracked down the exact species. This is what I love about spending time learning about the natural world, if you look carefully enough everything, be it beautiful or ugly, has a purpose.