Heliconia rostrata

Syn. Heliconia rostrata ‘pendula’

Hanging lobster claw, Pendula

 

Essential

                                                                               

 

Pinces de homard, Hanging lobster claw, pendula, , …

 

Family

 

HELICONIACEAE

 

Origin

 

Peru

 

Description

 

Massive plants, up to 6m tall, resemble to bananas in dense clumps. This is an eye catching pendulant bract, up to 50cm long, of striking red with yellow and green tips. Fairly dense habit when less than 3 years old, but can spread fast in the tropics. Leaf stalks may reach up to 4m in shade but only 2m in full sun. Can bloom all the year in tropical climates but tends to flower mainly in summer in other places.

Each stem can only flower once, after which the entire stem deteriorates, dries up and collapses.

The spread can be controlled by first installing a root barrier into the soil, then planting the heliconia. Every 3 years or so, the entire clump is dug up and a young division is replaced in the hole.

 

Habitat

 

Tropical rainforest

 

Propagation

 

Rhizom or seeds (slower)

 

Culture and care

 

Their requirements are simple: fertile well drained soil, warm HUMID temperatures and adequate water. 

In areas where rainfall is low, additional irrigation is important.

Heavy mulching is recommended to protect the soil from drying out, and to enhance the soil organic matter.

Heleconias may be grown in pots or in the ground.

In the tropics plant heleconias just before the wet season commences for best results. 

Heleconias may die back in winter but will flower from summer through autumn. 

Heliconias like HUMIDITY!!! 

He can be hibernate at 53°F

Uses

 

- Ornemental use

 

 

It is used as ornemental and tropical cut flowers.

 

Etymology

 

 

Heliconia is for Mount Helicon, Greece, sacred to the Muses of mythology.

Rostrata means narrowed to a point, with a long straight hard point, beaked, ros- trate, rostratus (columna-rostrata was a column to commemorate a naval victory) 

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