Heliconia stricta 'Firebird' is a native of Ecuador. The Firebird has beautiful large, dark green leaves that have maroon shading on the edges and midrib. It blooms from October to December and produces bright red bracts (that look like lobster claws) with green and burgundy accents on the edges and tips. It likes full sun to partial shade and flourishes in zones 11 and higher. This is a great plant for potting!!
Heliconias are native to Central America, the Caribbean islands, South America, and some of the islands of the South Pacific. However their easy growth and brilliant and exotic show have made them favorite garden subjects throughout the tropics and subtropics.They are becoming increasingly popular as landscaping plants and also as potted plants and cut flowers in regions where they cannot be garden grown. There are over 450 species, varieties, hybrids and cultivars of heliconias. Depending on variety, heliconias will range in height from two to twenty feet, often with extensive rhizomatous growth. The flower or inflorescence of heliconias is nearly always terminal and may last from several days to several months. The inflorescence bracts are usually red, yellow or both, but they are sometimes green or even pink. Heliconias like water, rich soil, and sunlight. They can be grown in any area where temperatures do not fall below 40 degrees F for any length of time. The smaller heliconia varieties can be grown as indoor potted plants or in any atrium environment where ideally, temperatures are maintained in the 60 degrees F range. Heliconias are generally free of diseases.Heliconias make exceptional cut flowers, cut stems, and cut leaves. Every swimming pool should have a heliconia because of its tropical and exotic form, its grace in movement produced by breezes, and its exceptional reflections. Stokes Tropicals' Heliconia Blend (9-3-6) is a good fertilizer source for these fantastic plants.Heliconias are an excellent choice for a container plant that can be grown indoors for the winter and outdoors during the summer. Heliconias derive their beauty from highly modified leaves or bracts. Thus we cannot call a heliconia bloom a flower; it is actually an inflorescence or cluster of bracts. Dogwood, artichokes, proteas, poinsettias and other plants similarly display colorful bracts. Heliconias as cut flowers are particularly desirable because of their long lasting characteristics.