A very variable species with many distinct geographical races that might be recognized as species once more research has been carried out[
Bihai bihai (L.) Griggs
Bihai distans (Griggs) Griggs
Bihai purpurea (Griggs) Griggs
Bihai rutila (Griggs) Griggs
Heliconia aurea G.Rodr.
Heliconia distans Griggs
Heliconia nigrescens Jacq.
Heliconia purpurea Griggs
Heliconia rutila Griggs
Heliconia schaeferiana G.Rodr.
Heliconia variegata Jacq.
Musa bihai L.
Common Name: Wild Plantain
Wild plantain is a large, evergreen perennial plant that looks rather like a banana plant[
]. It can grow from 0.5 - 5 metres tall, forming clumps and spreading by means of offsets[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use for food, medicines and materials. It is commonly grown as an ornamental in the tropics and subtropics[
Northern S. America - Venezuela, Colombia, the Guyanas, northern Brazil, to the Caribbean.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the humid tropics, it can also be grown in humid subtropical areas[
Requires a moist, fertile, humus-rich soil and a semi-shady position[
The flower sheaths are boat-shaped and often hold water. This often becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes[
Young shoots are sometimes eaten as a vegetable[
The roots are astringent and diuretic[
An infusion of the leaves is used to ease expulsion of the foetus at childbirth[
The plant is used to provide temporary protection to young cacao plants and also to provide mulch material[
The leaves are occasionally used for covering roofs[
The fibre in the plant has been recommended for making paper[
Division of offsets.
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