Heliconia schiedeana or Parrots Beak is one of the few hardy Heliconias: the plant survives light frost but will rarely flower in frost zones.
It is better to grow it as an orangery plant.
In its habitat it is an evergreen but in frost regions the plant will die and grow back from the rhizome next spring. It produces many suckers.
The plant is a fast grower: 2,5-3 m in 1 growing season. In cultivation it grows up to 1-2 m. Rhizomes are small.
Leaves are oblong and wind resistant, about 1,5 m long.
The beautiful inflorescence is erect and ramified with red bracts and yellow flowers.
Ornamental, cut flowers
Lobster Claw, Parrots Beak
Heliconia: from the Latin heliconius (from Helicon, a sacred mountain in Greek mythology)
Schiedeana: in honor of Wilhelm Schiede, a german physician and naturalist
South of Mexico
USDA zone 9-11, -1 °C
Nutritious, moist and well drained
Partial shade, shade
Don’t let the substrate dry out
Fertilize monthly during growing season
This plant is better suited for a warm greenhouse, it can be difficult to keep inside during winter because of the low atmospheric humidity due to heating. Temperature should be at least 15 °Call year round.
- scarify the seeds
- soak the seeds 1 night in water
- sow at 0.5 cm depth in a nutritious mix
- put the pot in a heated mini-greenhouse or plastic bag that you close
- 25-30 °C
- germination: 1-2 weeks if seeds are fresh, longer if seeds are not fresh
- Heliconia schiedeana: Dick Culbert