BirdWebGlyph condensed.jpg (119190 bytes) 



flora icon.jpg (6674 bytes)                birds listing icon.jpg (4963 bytes)                home icon.jpg (7327 bytes)



heliconia.jpg (36434 bytes)

Heliconia Psittacorum Fuschia


Heliconias belong to the Heliconiaceae family, which has only one genus (Heliconia) and between 200 and 250 species. These large tropical flowers are natives to only Central and South America, the Amazon rainforest and some islands of the South Pacific. They are attractive tropical plants with banana-like leaves and beautiful, long lasting inflorescences composed of showy bracts which contain the true flowers. They are frequently visited by birds such as hummingbirds and bananaquits. Hummingbirds insert their long beaks into the flower to drink nectar. Bananaquits employ a different strategy: they use their short, stout beaks to poke a hole near the base of the flower to get at the nectar within. Hummingbirds are the exclusive polinators of red, yellow , pink and orange heliconias, while nectar feeding bats are the polinators of green heliconias.

One species, Heliconia psittacorum has a "bonanza-blank" pattern of nectar production. Some of the flowers have abundant amounts of nectar while some do not have any nectar. Hummingbirds such as the Rufous-breasted Hermit therefore have to visit many flowers to find those with the nectar and thus facilitate cross-pollination.

Below are photographs of several of the heliconias found in Trinidad and Tobago.


balisier 2.jpg (49525 bytes)

Heliconia Bihai Balisier



Heliconia orthotricha.jpg (47228 bytes)

Heliconia Orthotricia


Heliconia psittacorum Choconiana.jpg (61361 bytes)

Heliconia Psittacorum Choconiana


heliconia psittacorum sassy 3.jpg (77435 bytes)

Heliconia Psittacorum Sassy


Nov01_29.jpg (55043 bytes)

Heliconia Hirsuta


Heliconia angusta.jpg (44834 bytes)

Heliconia Angusta



Copy of SPACE.gif (2938 bytes)


All photographs (unless otherwise stated) are the property of Brian Ramsey. No portion of the material on this site, including the photographs, may be reproduced without the express written consent of Outdoor Business Group Limited and Brian Ramsey. The permission of the other owners of the photographs must also be obtained for use.   

copyrighted_cd.gif (23373 bytes)

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2005 Outdoor Business Group Limited                                                                                                                                                                                
Last modified: February 16, 2008