Hairy Heliconias

Heliconias are striking tropical plants with with¬† thick flower bracts, that sometimes seem like they’ve been fashioned from plastic or rubber. The flowers emerge from the colorful bracts, but its the bracts themselves that command the most attention. You can see the yellow flower in the photo. On a recent trip to Colombia I came across this hairy heliconia, thick and dangling. Almost furry to the touch , it felt like a cross between a monkey’s tail, snake, and a child’s plush toy. You can see a much more impressive hairy heliconia photo here.


But, for those of you who prefer less hirsute heliconias, here are pictures of some other beauties that I spotted.¬† Don’t even think about growing these as houseplants. Some of these plants are 10-15 feet tall! The flowering bracts can be several feet long too, often dangling on rope-like stem over the steep hillsides like chandeliers.No doubt the colorful bracts can be easily spotted by hummingbirds that tend to pollinate these beautiful flowers.

Heliconias are sometimes are confused with Bird of Paradise blooms

 

Gorgeous yellow heliconia with green and white buds and blooms

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