A brilliant species from South America, Heliconia chartacea will reach around 3 metres in height with flowers that hang down on long stems.
A few varieties are available including ‘Sexy Pink’ and ’Sexy Scarlet’, and you can guess the flower colours from the names.
Grow them for the flowers, as well as for the foliage and silvery green stems which add height to the garden.
They are also very sought after as cut flowers, and they will last for up to 2 weeks.
The brilliant pink flower bracts are unique, the flowers themselves are small and green, they hang beneath the bracts. (see image right) It is these flowers that attract the pollinating birds in the natural environment.
After flowering, Heliconia chartacea will produce black seed pods if pollinated. In cultivation, often pollination needs to be carried out by hand to be successful.
Although they will grow well in full sun, light dappled shade is best for good flowers.
As with all Heliconia varieties, a humus rich well drained soil is essential for good growth.
Humid tropical conditions are required for good growth
Easiest by division of established clumps making sure that you take a healthy shoot as well a some root system.
Propagation from seed is also possible.
Heliconia chartacea are available for sale from the following nurseries.
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