Friday, July 31, 2009

Reminds Me of Home

Heliconia angusta. This is one of the cooler-growing Heliconia, cool enough that it will survive our (high 30s) Winters. I was told this one comes from Mexico although it probably has varieties in Central/South America as well. I planted one because it reminded me of Mom's little stand of Heliconia in the back yard in Hawaii. It's not as nice as some of the more tropical varieties of Heliconia but it's good enough for a small reminder.

You'll notice a few seed pods fattening up on the flower. Those were pollinated by the hummingbirds, their natural pollinator (different species of hummingbirds, of course, in South America). Thus, if you see Heliconia in Hawaii, it was planted by man via cuttings/vegetative divisions. The Hawaiian Heliconia flowers do not get pollinated because Hawaii has no hummingbirds. In fact, hummingbirds are on the list of prohibited species for importation into Hawaii, possibly because they are afraid that the hummingbirds will compete with the very endangered, native honey creepers (birds).

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