Spermatophyta: Monocotyledonae: Zingiberales

Heliconiaceae - Lobster-claw family

Bailey, L.H. (1949) Manual of Cultivated Plants Revised edition. Macmillan, New York.

Bailey, L.H. & Bailey, E.Z. (1976) Hortus Third. A concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in the United States and Canada Macmillan Publishing Co, Inc., New York

Description of the family

Leaves 2-ranked, banana-like. Inflorescence terminal, erect or pendulous, bearing flowers in the axils of distichous, often showy and brightly coloured, boat-shaped bracts. Flowers bisexual, sepals and petals variously partly united. Stamens 5. Staminode 1. Ovary inferior, 3-locular, with a solitary ovule in each loculus. Fruit a 1-3-seeded berry-like capsule.

Comment: Sometimes placed in the family Musaceae

Worldwide: c. 100 - 200 species, native to tropical America with a few species on the islands of the Pacific.

Zimbabwe: 1 cultivated genus and 1 cultivated taxon.

Heliconia rostrata

Links to cultivated genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

Heliconia L.Description, Image

Other sources of information about Heliconiaceae:

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Heliconiaceae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Heliconiaceae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Heliconiaceae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Heliconiaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Heliconiaceae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Heliconiaceae
JSTOR Plant Science: Heliconiaceae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Heliconiaceae
Wikipedia: Heliconiaceae
Plants of the World Online: Heliconiaceae
Tropicos: Heliconiaceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Heliconiaceae.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/family.php?family_id=259, retrieved 2 December 2023

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