The Heliconia is a plant out of the Heliconiaceae family. There are between one hundred and two hundred different kinds. Naturally the plants grow in the tropical parts of South-America and islands in the Pacific Ocean, mostly those to the West of Indonesia. It is also the only kind in the Heliconiaceae family. Previously it was located in the Musaceae family, but now it has its own.
The plants will hold for multiple years. Through time they will also stay green. The flowers are very decorative in nature, and frankly quite big also. In this aspect there are also different kinds. Some kinds have upright flowers, while others have hanging flowers. The most prominent feature of the plant are the bracts. The small flowers will bloom between the large bracts. This growth pattern is similar to that of the Canna, Strelitzia and Musa.
The Heliconia plant is an important source of food for all kinds of birds. They will feed on the nectar of the flower. The plant will also store water in its leaves. These so called phytotelma (water reservoirs) are important for the first periods of the lives of many organisms like mosquitoes and frogs.