Heliconia rostrata (also known as Hanging Lobster Claw or False Bird of Paradise) is a herbaceous perennial native to Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador, and naturalised in Puerto Rico. Other Heliconias grow in the upright position (e.g. Heliconia caribaea), their cup-shaped flower bracts storing water for birds and insects. This plant, however, has downward-facing flowers, the flowers thus providing a source of nectar to birds.
Heliconias are known to those who grow them as a host flower to many birds, especially the Hummingbird. Because of its unique characteristics, it is often used as a specimen for tropical gardens. Along with the Kantuta flower, Heliconia rostrata, known as patujú, is the national flower of Bolivia.
Heliconias are grown for the florist trade and as landscape plants. These plants do not grow well in cold, dry conditions. They are very drought intolerant, but can endure some soil flooding. Heliconias need an abundance of water, sunlight, and soils that are rich in humus in order to grow well. These flowers are grown in tropical regions all over the world as ornamental plants.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.