Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Heliconia Flower in Amazon rainforest

The world’s tropical rainforests are home to an incredible number of plant species. The Amazon Rainforest alone contains over 40,000 plant species.

Heliconia is the only genus in the plant family Heliconiaceae, which is a member of the order Zingiberales (earlier called the Scitamineae). Heliconia Flower or Lobster-Claw is a native mostly to Central and South America. A few species are found in the South Pacific Islands.

There are likely 200 to 250 named varieties. This is a family of medium to large herbaceous perennials. The leaves of this plant are paddle-shaped, and they are related to the banana family.

Heliconia humilis
Heliconias, honoring Mt. Helicon (home of the ancient Greek gods) superficially resemble banana plant. They are easily distinguished by their absence of banana-like fruit, and the fact that their leaves arise directly from ground level rather from an erect trunk.

They flourish in humid lowland tropics and are quite common in rainforests. It has been widely cultivated as a garden plant. Heliconias are sometimes called “lobster claws” or “parrot flowers”, because of their beak-like “bracts” which can be orange, purple, red, yellow, pink, green or a combination of these.
Heliconia Flower in Amazon rainforest
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