A Flower a Week : #3 Heliconia

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Here is another vibrant tropical flower from my garden, the Heliconia.

There are many different species of Heliconia, I have 3 different species in the garden. The leaves of this plant are paddle-shaped, and they are related to the ginger and banana families. Heliconia 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. A bract is a leaf structure at the base of a flower. The Heliconia flowers are tiny and found inside these bracts, which are so large and colourful that they almost hide the flowers.

They are natives of the tropical Americas and over there they are pollinated by hummingbirds with beaks shaped to extend into the bracts and reach the flowers. I don’t know if they have pollinators here, but they spread rapidly and exuberantly by underground rhizomes and can soon dominate the garden beds.

The flowers last for many weeks and in the hot, humid months of summer make a vibrant show. They are very easy to grow and don’t appear to have any pests or diseases.

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Nalinki on “Angles and views” is hosting a weekly series called: “Flowersoverflowers”, it will be posted every Tuesday. The idea is to bring some more colorful pics of nature into our blogosphere.

Categories: a flower a week, flowersoverflowers, photos | Tags: , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “A Flower a Week : #3 Heliconia

  1. So stunning, I would love tropical flowers to grow in Austria as well

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  2. I think we saw this plant in Costa Rica, but I didn’t know what it was.

    janet

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  3. Fabulous plants but I’ve only seen this colour, a purple one would be wonderful!

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  4. Truly vibrant! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful vibrant colours. A nice plant to have in the garden.

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  6. I love to see what flower you choose to share as yours are so exotic!

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  7. Drat! I hate landing on another challenge I’ve meant to take part in 🙂 🙂 And I have no excuse because it only needs one shot 😦 But this is a beauty, Pauline 🙂

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    • Thanks for taking the time to wander around my world down under Jo. Lovely to have you visit. The type of travel we do now gives me more time to do posts. I look back at the ones I did when we were on the road, they were very light on detail and just a photo or 2.

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  8. Beautiful bright flower, Pauline. I think we saw a lot of these in Costa Rica. They were popular for use in flower arrangements at the hotels.

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  9. This is stunning. Thanks for sharing photo and info.

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  10. Your flower photos glow, and this is no exception – although it’s heading towards flaming!

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    • Good word for it. When it is at full flower the border stops people in their tracks. Just listened to Simon Armitage. Thanks for letting me know about the programme.

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      • Worth listening to? I was in the midst of doctors – one for me; one, far more serious and expensive, for the printer.

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        • Yes he speaks well and I loved the soft burr of his Yorkshire accent. (I’m a Yorkshire lass from way back…)
          Hope you are ok and the printer is too. Some times in this throw away society it is cheaper to buy a new one.

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          • I’m fine – just unfit. Apparently twin-wrangling isn’t fitness inducing. The printer printed, and printed wireless, and I learnt about scanning, resizing and battery conservation on my iPhone. Thanks for asking! I’m glad you enjoyed Armitage, with a bonus accent. Does any remain in your voice?

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