Cutflower Nomenclature

Scientific/Botanical Name

Genus: Heliconia

Specie: orthotricha

Variety/Cultivar:

English Name:

 

Common Name

flowering banana
• parrot's flower
• macaw flower

Botanical Family

Name in Latin: Heliconiaceae

Name in English: heliconia, ginger family

The Plant

Origin: north western region of South America

Growth Habit: upright herbaceous perennial

Flower: Upright bloom, 5 to 7 prink, maroon, red and green bracts covered with velvety hairs

Blooming Period: Summer

Leaf: mostly parallel veined.

Usage:

Heliconia are distinctive and should be used as the dominate flower in a floral arrangement.  When designing heliconia in floral foam, be sure to use chicken wire or other additional support for the very heavy stems.

Care and Handling

Lasting Quality: Individual flowers on an inflorescence can last several days depending on species. Combine this with the fact that there can be about 20 flowers per stalk makes this a reasonably long-lasting cut flower, about two weeks.

Amount of water: heavy drinker

Nutrition: text

Special handling: Recut stems under water and place into a fresh flower food, bleach, hydration solution or water. Use of fresh flower food or hydration solution can improve water uptake but only extends flower life minimally (if at all) over using just water. Dipping in some antitranspirant materials can extend vaselife but care should be taken to prevent possible plant damage. Do not submerge in water as often done with ginger. To remove the white powder that often covers the flower heads, stems and leaves, sponge the areas with a room temperature solution of soap that contains a few drops of cooking oil and then rinse with fresh water and allow to dry. These flowers need to be packed carefully because of the heavy weight so as to avoid shifting during transit, which can easily damage the flowers. • Flowers often do not continue development after harvest so choose most open for best display. They are chilling sensitive (see below). Pollination can induce very rapid flower fall with some species

Special feature/remarks:

• It is the only genus of the Heliconiaceae (heliconia family). • Native to South/Central America and the Southwest Pacific Islands. They are close relatives of banana and bird-of-paradise because at one time taxonomists placed them in the same family Musaceae (banana). That is why one of its common names is False Bird of Paradise! Larger diameter and longer stems have greater vase life. Dies prematurely mainly due to poor water uptake. • Flowers often do not continue development after harvest so choose most open for best display. They are chilling sensitive (see below). Pollination can induce very rapid flower fall with some species and cultivars.