Heliconia rostrata, the hanging lobster claw or false bird of paradise, is a herbaceous perennial plant native to Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, and naturalized in Puerto Rico. Other heliconias grow in an upright position (e.g. Heliconia bihai), their cup-shaped flower bracts storing water for birds and insects. This plant, however, has downward-facing flowers, the flowers thus providing a source of nectar to birds.
|Lobster claws flower at peak season, Udumalpet,India|
Ruiz & Pavon
Heliconias are known to those who grow them as a host flower to many birds, especially the hummingbirds. Because of its unique characteristics, it is often used as a specimen for tropical gardens.
- The Plant List, Heliconia rostrata
- Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Heliconia rostrata
- Ruiz López, Hipólito & Pavón, José Antonio. 1802. Flora Peruviana, et Chilensis 3: 71, t. 305, Heliconia rostrata
- Brako, L. & J. L. Zarucchi. (eds.) 1993. Catalogue of the Flowering Plants and Gymnosperms of Peru. Monographs in systematic botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 45: i–xl, 1–1286.
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