Heliconia bihai ‘Balisier’

Plant of the month: June

Heliconia bihai 'Balisier'

An exotic mouthful of a name for an exotic plant. It has several common names amongst which firebird stands out as it describes the shape and colour of the scarlet flowers but also reflects that the flower is pollinated by birds. Another common name is the lobster-claw heliconia  which again describes the bract of the inflorescence nicely. From northern South America the heliconias are real tropical plants, needing high temperatures throughout the year – one best seen in the gardens unless you can heat your greenhouse to 15 degrees centigrade in winter! It is also a gross feeder, needing plenty of food and bright light to build its large waxy flower clusters.