Heliconia rostrata

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Heliconia rostrata
Heliconia rostrata 4.jpg
Lobster claws flower.jpg
Lobster claws flower at peak season, Udumalpet,India
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Heliconiaceae
Genus: Heliconia
Species: H. rostrata
Binomial name
Heliconia rostrata
Ruiz & Pavon
  • Bihai poeppigiana (Eichler ex Petersen) Kuntze
  • Bihai rostrata (Ruiz & Pav.) Griggs
  • Heliconia poeppigiana Eichler ex Petersen
Grown in Malaysia

Heliconia rostrata (also known as hanging lobster claw or false bird of paradise) is an herbaceous perennial native to Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, and naturalized in Puerto Rico.[2] Other Heliconias grow in the upright position (e.g. Heliconia bihai), their cup-shaped flower bracts storing water for birds and insects. This plant, however, has downward-facing flowers, the flowers thus providing a source of nectar to birds.[3][4]

Heliconias are known to those who grow them as a host flower to many birds, especially the hummingbird. Because of its unique characteristics, it is often used as a specimen for tropical gardens.

Along with the Kantuta flower, Heliconia rostrata, known as patujú, is the national flower of Bolivia.

Heliconia rostrata
Heliconia rostrata Inflorescence
Heliconia rostrata Inflorescence close up
Heliconia rostrata Inflorescence in West bengal, India


  1. ^ The Plant List, Heliconia rostrata
  2. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Heliconia rostrata
  3. ^ Ruiz López, Hipólito & Pavón, José Antonio. 1802. Flora Peruviana, et Chilensis 3: 71, t. 305, Heliconia rostrata
  4. ^ Brako, L. & J. L. Zarucchi. (eds.) 1993. Catalogue of the Flowering Plants and Gymnosperms of Peru. Monographs in systematic botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 45: i–xl, 1–1286.