Common name: Miniature heliconia
Native to: Hybrid, Caribbean and South America
Heliconias are tropical plants related to bananas, cannas and gingers. There are about 100 different individual species, and most species then have a large number of hybrids and cultivars, with flower styles varying significantly from the original. The actual heliconia flower is fairly insignificant. What most people would call the 'flower' is actually a group of colourful specialised leaves, called bracts. The true flowers are hidden inside these bracts. Heliconia leaves look more or less like banana leaves. They are generally green, but some are tinged slightly with colour (particularly when young) and sometimes the leaves and stems are coloured or patterned slightly.
Hybrid heliconia species.
Heliconia psittacorum x spathocircinata
Native / exotic: Exotic
Aspect: Full sun to part shade
Flowers: Showy with golden coloured upright bracts
Foliage: Evergreen, wide banana-shaped leaves
Growth habit: Open clumping
Hardiness: Require some maintenance
Height: Up to 1 metre
Spread: Up to 1 metre
Soil requirements: Prefers moist well-drained soils. Keep well mulched
Uses: Great filler and splash of colour in tropical gardens