Heliconia aureostriata W.Bull
Heliconia aureovittata Van Geert
Heliconia austrocaledonica Vieill.
Heliconia buccinata Roxb.
Heliconia edwardus-rex Sander
Heliconia illustris W.Bull
Heliconia micholitzii Ridl.
Heliconia roseostriata Rivois
Heliconia sanderi Sander
Heliconia seemannii Van Houtte
Heliconia spectabilis L.Linden & Rodigas
Heliconia striata H.J.Veitch
Heliconia viridis G.Nicholson
Heliconiopsis amboinensis Miq.
Heliconiopsis illustris (W.Bull) Nakai
Heliconiopsis indica (Lam.) Nakai
Heliconiopsis micholitzii (Ridl.) Nakai
Flowering plant of the cultivar 'Spectabilis
Photograph by: ddepauw1
Heliconia indica is an erect, coarse, perennial plant, superficially resembling a banana, growing up to 2 metres or more tall. The plant forms a dense clump of stems (or more correctly pseudostems) from a rhizomatous rootstock. Each stem is comprised of tightly rolled leaf sheaths. The oblong leaves can be up to 2 - 3 metres long[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is occasionally cultivated or protected, in rural and home gardens[
]. The plant is often grown as an ornamental, valued for its beautiful, coloured foliage, it has flowers with overlapping, scarlet and yellow or greenish bracts; and yellow fruits[
Southeast Asia - Indonesia to New Guinea and the southwestern Pacific.
Common in dense forests, secondary forests, fallow, and garden areas[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Semi-cultivated, Wild
Flowers - cooked[
]. Used as a famine food when better foods are not available[
The pseudostems and heated leaves are used medicinally[
The leaves are used as a thatch for making temporary shelters, they are also used to make umbrellas, make-shift sleeping mats, to cover earthen ovens, to wrap food for cooking, especially starchy puddings and a staple food in Vanuatu known as 'laplap'[
A fibre obtained from the petiole and midrib is processed into tauanga, which is used to strain coconut oi[
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