Heliconia velloziana

Heliconia velloziana

Heliconia velloziana or Ginger Blossom is a taller Heliconia species from Brazil.

This Heliconia tolerates light frost with some winter protection but should be kept indoors in USDA zone 8 or colder.

Description:

Heliconia velloziana grows up to 2-3 m high.

The inflorescence bears 5 to 15 erect bracts that contain the small yellow flowers. The bracts may be red or red and yellow.

Leaves resemble those of a banana.

Usage:

Ornamental, cut flowers

Nomenclature:

Common names:

False Bird-of-Paradise, Flowering Banana, Lobster Claw, Macaw Flower, Parrot’s Flower,
Wild Plantain

Synonyms:

Heliconia farinosa, Heliconia vellosiana: not a synonym but a misspelling

Etymology:

Heliconia: from the Greek helikōnios (from Helicon, a mountain in Greece)
Velloziana: not found

Origin:

Brazil

Habitat:

Along streams in secondary forest on poorly drained soil or along roadsides.



Hardiness:

USDA zone 9-11, -5 °C

Care:

Soil:

Nutritious, moist but well drained. A mixture of peat moss, sand and compost.

Exposure:

Sun, light, partial shade

Water:

Keep the substrate moist

Fertilizer:

Fertilize monthly during growing season

Temperature:

Needs plenty of heat and humidity. Best suited for the warm greenhouse. It might prove difficult to keep it inside the house due to the low air humidity when the heating is on
maintain a temperature of minimum 15 °C the whole year round, ideally a constant temperature of 25 °C

Propagation:

Seed, division of the rhizome

Sowing instructions:

  • scarify the seeds
  • soak the seeds 4 days in tepid water
  • sow 2 cm deep in a light mix and moisten
  • place the pot in a heated mini-greenhouse or plastic bag which you close
  • 25-30 °C
  • germination: 1-2 weeks if seeds are fresh, longer if seeds are not fresh

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