Derived from the Greek word helikonios Heliconia is part of a family of flowering plants native to the tropical Americas and the Pacific Ocean islands west to Indonesia. Great dramatic accent for large show pieces.
Care and Handling:
These tropical flowers need to be maintained at 55-60 F., away from drafts and breezes, but in a situation with high humidity. They can be placed in a plastic tent, and they greatly benefit from a strong diffused light source. Carefully inspect the flower-heads for mechanical damage as well as blemishes on the modified colored bracts that enclose the insignificant flowers. While the stems can frequently have yellow or even brown on them, the flower-heads should be free from any defects. Also examine closely for evidence of dehydration, extreme heat or cold damage evidenced by curling bracts and blueing. Cut the stems with a sharp instrument and place in deep water. Because these are long stems with a rather heavy, woody vascular structure, the deep water allows the ginger to work less in terms of capillary action. Remove any leaves that may be submerged in the water. Keep the entire flower humid at all times.