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Tropical Beauties – The Heliconia

With the summer heat comes thoughts of tropical flower arrangements and tropical flowers.  The Heliconia with its beautifully colored bracts makes a fabulous statement in any tropical floral arrangement you could create.

A relative of the banana family, the Heliconia is also known as parrot flowers or lobster claws because of the unique shape of the bracts.  This gorgeous plant is also used for landscaping as well because it can grow to nearly 30 feet.  The leaves are paddle shaped and depending on the size of the plant itself range from 6 inches to over 10 feet.

The Heliconia is available in orange, purple, red, yellow, pink, green or a combination of any of these like the photo shown to the left.  The real flower of the Heliconia is hidden within the brightly colored bracts which protect its very sweet necter so that only hummingbirds with their long thin beaks can feed on it.

Some species of Heliconia have upright flowers and others have flowers that droop down from the main stem.  Those are called Hanging Heliconias.

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