What the heliconia?

Heliconia, derived from the Greek word helikonios, is a genus of about 100 to 200 species of flowering plants native to the tropical Americas and the Pacific Ocean islands west to Indonesia. Many species of Heliconia are found in rainforests or tropical wet forests of these regions. Common names for the genus include lobster-claws, wild plantains or false bird-of-paradise. The last term refers to their close similarity to the bird-of-paradise flowers (Strelitzia). Collectively, these plants are also simply referred to as heliconias.  (Wikipedia)

When we were in Grand Cayman one of the many things on our to do list was to visit the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park.  Beautiful and exotic plants, flowers, animals and trees many of which I had never seen before were just waiting for me to photograph like these heliconias for one.   I’m not positive but I may have seen one or two before but never still growing and never in a natural habitat.  When first looking at them I thought “lobster claws!”  There were so many varieties in the park and in red, yellow, orange, pink, and combos of these colors.  Beautiful and fascinating plants.


  Heliconia Rostrata

  Heliconia Wagneriana

  Heliconia stricta

  Heliconia Psittacorum – Golden Torch

About imagesbytdashfield

Fine art photographer who loves to see and capture the amazing things in this world. Owner of Images by TDashfield photography. www.imagesbytdashfield.com
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16 Responses to What the heliconia?

  1. marieyoung says:

    I think ive seen it only in botanical gardens too. Interesting post!

    • Thanks! It is always much more gratifying to see living things in the wild. Or sort of wild in this case 🙂

      • marieyoung says:

        I agree. I haven’t had the ability to travel to the Cayman Islands (my mother has though) but I look forward to taking in the living things in the wild in another beautiful countries!

  2. Gorgeous! Your first image (the red flowers with the green tips) just inspired my next textile print! So beautiful the shapes and colors we find in nature! WOOT! Thanks for sharing.

  3. bulldogsturf says:

    These are lovely flowers and yes we do have a few here in our forests… beautiful flowers shown by beautiful photos thank you…

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    Stunning blooms, Teri, and your photos are beautifully shot. I’ve seen these before but never in their natural habitat. I once went to the Puerto Rican rain forest park — but there was a drought and about the only flowers I saw were the impatiens at the park entrance. Undaunted, I went to a rain forest park in Australia — it was closed due to flooding. For the good of the World’s eco-system, I’ve quit trying to tour rain forests.

  5. dhphotosite says:

    Wow! Very unusual flowers and to see them in the wild…what a treat!!! Super photos!!! I had to laugh at John’s comment…he is such a funny guy!

  6. Kan says:

    Beautiful! So that’s what they are called. Saw them in Hawaii and was totally fascinated.

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