Heliconia bihai (red palulu) of the Heliconiaceae family is an erect herb typically growing taller than 1.5 m. It is native to northern South America and the West Indies. It is especially common in northern Brazil and the Guianas but also found in Hispaniola, Jamaica, the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Venezuela and Colombia. Other names by which the plant is commonly known include balisier and macawflower.
This upward facing flower of the Heliconia family, which acts as a cup, is a natural source of rain water for birds and insects.
Use as a symbol
This plant is used as the symbol to represent the People's National Movement political party of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as by the Martinique Progressive Party (Parti Progressiste Martiniquais) of the French Overseas Department of Martinique, in the West Indies.
- Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Heliconia bihai
- (in Portuguese) Checklist das Plantas do Nordeste (Checklist of Plants of Northeast Brazil): Heliconia bihai
- "HELICONIACEAE Heliconia bihai" at Plants For Use.
- (in Portuguese) Lorenzi, H.; Souza, M. S. (2001) Plantas Ornamentais no Brasil: arbustivas, herbáceas e trepadeiras. Plantarum ISBN 85-86714-12-7
- Ferdie Ferreira, "PNM and the balisier, the symbol of fertility", Newsday, 28 November 2011.
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