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

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  • Native / exotic: Exotic

    Aspect: Full sun to part shade

    Flowers: Showy with golden coloured upright bracts

    Fragrance: None

    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

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