heliconiaceae

Pendent Heliconia - Heliconia pendula 

Heliconias are attractive tropical plants with banana-like leaves and beautiful, long lasting inflorescences composed of showy bracts which contain the true flowers. Although these large tropical flowers are natives to only Central and South America, and some islands of the South Pacific, their easy cultivation and spectacular presence have made them favorite garden subjects throughout the world.

In the American Tropics, hummingbirds are the exclusive polinators of red, yellow, pink and orange heliconias while nectar feeding bats are the polinators of green heliconias.

In Heliconia pendula (Zingiberales - Heliconiaceae) bracts are pendulous, dull red to pink with white sepals. This species is native to Guyana and northern South America.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©tajong | Locality: not indicated (2010)

Heliconia | ©frolickauai    (Kauai, Hawaii)

Plants of the genus Heliconia (Zingiberales - Heliconiaceae) are pollinated almost exclusively by hummingbirds, although some bat pollination has been found to occur.

It is known that in Costa Rica, the Honduran white bat, Ectophylla alba, alter the leaves of five species of Hoeliconia for use as diurnal roosts. By cutting the side veins extending out the midrib, the bat cause the two sides of the leaf to fold down around the midrib forming a tent [source].

Heliconias are also known as Lobster-claws, Wild plantains, False bird-of-paradise, Platanera silvestre, Bijao, and Platanillo.

Made with Flickr