Heliconia rostrata, commonly known as the lobster claw, is an herbaceous perennial plant native to countries in Central and South America including Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Currently, it is blooming in the Hartley and Heather Richardson Tropical Biome at The Leaf!
These hanging flowers, or bracts, open one by one, creating this cascade of lobster claws! The downward-facing flowers produce nectar and are very attractive to hummingbirds in the wild.
Lobster claw flowers can last for weeks and are great in bouquets and floral décor. The berries that follow after flowering are commonly a purplish-blue colour and are distributed by birds.
Some of its relatives include ginger and banana plants. Being in the order of Zingiberales, it is also related to Strelitzia, bird of paradise, and gives way to another common name false bird of paradise.
This plant performs best in full sun or slight shade, and in constantly moist, well-draining soils. It’s a perfect plant for our hot, humid, Tropical Biome!