Heliconia bud

publickmanJune 2, 2006

My heliconia has started to bloom. When I saw , I realized that there was . Here's from the other side. When it opens, it will have yellow stalks with blue berries or seeds, when they are ripe. I'll take pictures of it after it opens, but unlike other heliconias, I think this one looks better as a bud. We grew it from seeds that we collected at the Botanical Gardens. This is a very hardy variety (I think it will grow in zone 8), but only blooms in zone 10-11. I would like to get some showier heliconias for the back yard.

Lars

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woodie2

It is beautiful, Lars.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 6:14PM
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riverrat1

Lars, that heliconia is fabulous! Be sure to come back and give us a peek when it opens.

Do you think my climate would support heliconia? I supposedly live in zone 9b.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 6:43PM
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publickman

Karen, that heliconia is supposed to be hardy to zone 8, and so you might want to give it a try. If you want, I'll send you some seeds, after the flowers are finished. I think if you planted them in the spring, they would sprout. They do well in heat and humidity - I have to water them in the summer (and also in the winter if it is a dry one). I believe you should have no trouble growing them, but they don't bloom the first year. They are dormant in the winter, but if they go through a frost, they don't bloom that year, supposedly. We never have frost, and our minimum winter temperature is 42° (zone 11), and so we always get flowers if there is enough water. They like partial shade - I have mine planted just north of the house, but you could plant them in a protected area and most likely get blooms. They will also grow in full sun, but it isn't necessary, unlike ginger.

Lars

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 8:16PM
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riverrat1

Lars, I would love to have some of the seed. Thank you! That is very kind of you. I just love this place.

I have the perfect area under a redbud tree on the north side of the property.

Check your e-mail! Thank you Lars.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 9:54PM
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craftyrn

Beautiful -- can't wait it see it opened .

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 11:21PM
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trixietx

How pretty, I love flowers.

I have never heard of Heliconia. Could I grow it in a pot outside in zone 7 and take it inside in winter?

Be sure and post pictures when it blooms.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 12:31AM
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paulines

I believe we have something similiar in this area, but only sold as a houseplant. It's really beautiful, Lars.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 8:05AM
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homesforsale

As you can well imagine.. I don't have tropicals..Is this also called Bird of Paradise? It bears a striking resemblance..Lars.. Digressing a bit here..but I think you have a great camera..The photos are clear.. sharp..and the colors seem true on my screen

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 8:47AM
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doucanoe

Oh, I love the heliconia, Lars! Only time I have ever seen them was when I was in Costa Rica. Sometimes I wish I was in a tropical climate rather than a tundra! LOL

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 10:41AM
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woodie2

Monique, I thought of Bird of Paradise right away too.

(And getting off the subject, I used to love Bird of Paradise perfume when I was a teenager.)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 10:57AM
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canarybird01

We also have heliconias growing outdoors here, but I don't have any in our garden right now.
They are related to the Strelizia Reginae (Bird of Paradise) and Ginger plants - (Order: Zingiberales) - but are of different families.

I look forward to your photos of the open flower Lars. Which reminds me I should take a walk up the street to the Botanical Gardens with my camera as the heliconias inside should also be blooming at this time.

SharonCb

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 2:35PM
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publickman

Here's some more info on my heliconia. I discovered that it is a Heliconia Schiediana, native to eastern Mexico. Most heliconias are native to the tropical Americas. Mine only get to about 5' high, and supposedly they do okay in pots. It looks like you might need to plant it in an area with sandy soil, or at least very good drainage, since the site lists it as growing in a dry area.

Check the link below for threads about growing heliconia in zone 8 and other zones in pots. Evidently people are having success with that. Right now I'm trying to get some ginger rhysomes to grow.

Heliconia should be blooming in our Botanical gardens too, but they are over an hours' drive from here. They're only distantly related to Bird of Paradise, Ginger, and Bananas, as they are in a family of their own.

I have a view of the heliconia bud from my front window, next to my desk, and so I'll be sure to photograph it again when it opens. The are about to bloom again.

Lars

Here is a link that might be useful: Heliconia info at gardenweb tropicals

    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 3:08PM
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publickman

Here's how the flower (or inflorescence) looks today, three days later! Here's some technical info. I didn't study heliconia when I took botany - my professor specialized in cryptobotany.

Lars

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 5:18PM
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publickman

Got my links wrong! . Too bad we can't edit posts, like you can in other forums.

Lars

    Bookmark   June 5, 2006 at 6:09PM
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riverrat1

It's amazing what 3 days will do for a heliconia! Beautiful.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 7:35AM
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canarybird01

Yes they are starkly beautiful aren't they.

They make dramatic flower arrangements along with strelizias, often seen that way in hotels and restaurants here. However I always prefer seeing them growing in the ground. I have to keep reminding myself that they don't grow that way everywhere.

SharonCb

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 5:20PM
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publickman

Strelitzias do make nice cut flowers, and I do cut my orange ones (although bloom only in winter). My white one is more dramatic, but it's way too tall for me to reach the flowers. It's blooming now too, but the flowers are on very short stems. It's hard to photograph because the sun gets in the way. Strelitzias are extremely common here, I guess because they are so easy to grow, but heliconias are a bit more difficult. I'm trying to arrange a swap with someone from the ginger forum - I want to trade a ginger for a heliconia. The large heliconias are some of my favorite flowers.

Lars

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 5:48PM
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riverrat1

What gingers are you interested in, Lars?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 9:11PM
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publickman

I'd like to get that has a sort of spiral flower. I've seen this flower in my neighborhood (on the canals), but not in the nurseries. I have that I am trying to trade for heliconia. The ginger made a bunch of rhizomes at the tops of the stalks, and I'm rooting them now.

Lars

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 12:17PM
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publickman

Here's today. The bracts are opening, and you can see two different kinds of flowers (I think). The yellow knob at the top of one kind of flower will make seeds, providing hummingbirds come by and pollenate it, which they should, since the flowers are already making nectar, and we have plenty of hummingbirds.

Lars

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 3:40PM
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