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Useful Tropical Plants

Heliconia caribaea

Lam.

Heliconiaceae

+ Synonyms

Bihai borinquena (Griggs) Griggs

Bihai conferta (Petersen) Kuntze

Bihai luteofusca (Jacq.) Kuntze

Heliconia borinquena Griggs

Heliconia conferta Petersen

Heliconia luteofusca Jacq.

Common Name:

Heliconia caribaea
Close-up of the flowers
Photograph by: ImageMD
Creative Commons License
Heliconia caribaea Heliconia caribaea Heliconia caribaea Heliconia caribaea Heliconia caribaea Heliconia caribaea

General Information

Heliconia caribaea is a large, evergreen perennial plant that looks rather like a banana plant. It produces a pseudostem 3 - 6 metres tall from a rhizomatous rootstock. The leaf stems are up to 2 metres long, the leaf blades oblong or elliptic-oblong, up to 1 metre long or more, 20 - 35cm wide[
656
Title
Monocotyledons and Gymnosperms of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium. Vol. 52
Author
Acevedo-Rodríguez P. & Strong M.T. (Editors)
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington.
Year
2005
ISBN
0097-1618
Description
A treatment of the monocots and gymnosperms growing in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The inflorescence are erect with short peduncle, 30 - 50cm long[
656
Title
Monocotyledons and Gymnosperms of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium. Vol. 52
Author
Acevedo-Rodríguez P. & Strong M.T. (Editors)
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington.
Year
2005
ISBN
0097-1618
Description
A treatment of the monocots and gymnosperms growing in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild as a local source of food. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

656
Title
Monocotyledons and Gymnosperms of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium. Vol. 52
Author
Acevedo-Rodríguez P. & Strong M.T. (Editors)
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington.
Year
2005
ISBN
0097-1618
Description
A treatment of the monocots and gymnosperms growing in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

Caribbean - Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Leeward Isles, Windward Isles.

Habitat

Frequent in humid ravines and on moist or wet hillsides at low to middle elevations from 50 - 700 metres[
656
Title
Monocotyledons and Gymnosperms of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium. Vol. 52
Author
Acevedo-Rodríguez P. & Strong M.T. (Editors)
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington.
Year
2005
ISBN
0097-1618
Description
A treatment of the monocots and gymnosperms growing in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height5.00 m
PollinatorsHummingbirds
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the humid tropics, it can also be grown in humid subtropical areas[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Requires a moist, fertile, humus-rich soil and a semi-shady position[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Young shoots - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

The rhizomes are a source of starch[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Seeds[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -

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