Heliconia

| 11 Comments
IMG_3785_Heliconia_600.JPG

Heliconia, Bella Vista Cloud Forest Reserve, Ecuador.

11 Comments

Sure looks like a relative of a bird of paradise flower - but it apparently isn’t. Bird of paradise is in the Strelitzia family, and heliconias include a “false bird-of-paradise.” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliconia

Unless I recall incorrectly, the guide told us that this plant (which she did not identify) was an ancestor of the banana. That is apparently not so. According to Wikipedia, Heliconia used to be in the same family as the banana, but it is no longer. Who says there has not been enough time for evolution to take place?

I’m surprised that there wasn’t a gold-phase eyelash palm viper draped across the fruit.

Matt Young Wrote:

That is apparently not so. According to Wikipedia, Heliconia used to be in the same family as the banana, but it is no longer.

It’s still too close for Comfort. ;-)

Good one, Frank J!

Paul Burnett said:

Sure looks like a relative of a bird of paradise flower - but it apparently isn’t. Bird of paradise is in the Strelitzia family, and heliconias include a “false bird-of-paradise.” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliconia

Funny, the reason I happened to click on this page was that, on my Safari browser’s “Top Sites” feature (which gives a preview in miniature, of the home page of one’s favorite sites), rather than flower blossoms, the picture appeared to show three Scarlet macaws (Ara macao) milling about on a branch. (Admittedly I wasn’t wearing my glasses when I glanced at the picture, but my (uncorrected) vision is not that bad.)

apparently that used to be a Louis Jordan song

That looks like the one in my front yard, but mine is orange and the fruits are not so big.

Heliconias are related to both birds-of-paradise and bananas! All three are families in the Zingiberales. The relationship of these families to each other is still rather unclear. It is certain, however, that heliconias comprise a monophyletic group of their own.

I did a few years of research on the evolutionary history of these buggers, so it was quite a surprise finding a picture here :).

Oh Heliconia! I think I have new favorite genus. I really love the pendula and vellerigera. These are both menacing and beautiful plants, in a simpler time I would have the mariae a suitable weapon.

-Jeffery Heap

It’s still too close for Comfort. ;-)

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on December 7, 2009 12:00 PM.

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