Common Names: Heliconia, Lobster Claw
Botanical names: Heliconia, (hel-i-KO-nee-ah)
Availability: Year round
Vase life: 7 to 21 days; varies by species and cultivar
Storage temperatures: 55 - 65 degrees Fahrenheit
Ethylene Sensitive: No
Description: Dramatic brilliant bracts of florets densely packed together on thick stems. The flowers may be upright or drooping.
Color: Orange, red, yellow, pink and some bi-colors
Botanical facts: Heliconia is named after Mount Helicon, the seat of the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts and sciences in Greek mythology. Like their god Apollo, the Muses supposedly remained young and beautiful forever. Much like the long lasting and beautiful heliconia flowers.
Design notes: Heliconia are distinctive and should be used as the dominate flower in a floral arrangement. When designing heliconia in floral foam, be sure to use chicken wire or other additional support for the very heavy stems.
Purchasing hints: Purchase stems with full color. Heliconias do not continue to develop once they are cut. Avoid stems that are obviously dried out or with black spots on the stems or bracts
Conditioning: Cut three inches of the stem under water with a sharp knife. Hydrate in a solution of hot (100 - 110 degrees Fahrenheit) water and commercial floral preservative / floral food for two hours before storage or usage.
Additional notes: Heliconia are very chill sensitive and should never be held at temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Black spots on the stem may indicate exposure to the cold.