Heliconia L.

Lobster Claw

Commemorating Mt Helicon, Greece, home of the Muses, pun relating to the similarity of these plants to Musa.

For description see family.

Grown outside in the tropics or inside in warm, humid regions for the architectural flower clusters having brilliantly coloured bracts. Commercial production of heliconias was initiated in Hawaii and in the glasshouses of Holland in the 1960s. Their popularity has rapidly increased and they are now produced for the cut flower industry from many other countries. In 2000 there were 20-30 different cultivars available in Australia and about 20 species.

Division of the rhizome, occasionally by seed.

Tropical America and Moluccas to Fiji and Samoa.

Kress (1984, 1990), Berry & Kress (1991), Andersson (1985, 1992), Bar-Zvi (2001).

Source: Spencer, R. (2005). Heliconiaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Zingiberales
family       Heliconiaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Heliconia caribaea Lam.