Christmas Heliconia Facts
- The gorgeous Christmas Heliconia derives its name from its appearance and time of blooming. It typically blooms around the Christmas season.
- The timing, combined with its rather beautiful red and white flowers, rather understandably contributed directly to its common name.
- The IUCN also recently classified the Christmas Heliconia as Vulnerable, due to the fact that most of its natural habitat has been converted to farmland.
- The species now appears to be rather rare in the wild. However, it also remains extremely popular as a garden or ornamental plant.
- We sincerely hope that its popularity serves to prevent its complete extinction as a species. However, fears also exist that the species will soon be extinct in its natural environment.
Christmas Heliconia Physical Characteristics
The Christmas Heliconia evolved as a tropical species and botanists classify it as a delicate perennial. The plants themselves typically attain a height of between 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m).
The most commonly produced color combination remains the primarily red and white for which it remains best known, even today.
However, other colors also appear occasionally, including yellow and orange. In the wild, the Christmas Heliconia reproduces via seeds alone.
Yet, in cultivation, it also reproduces via root propagation. The foliage appears as evergreen. The leaves typically have a rather leathery texture.
Species: H. angusta
Christmas Heliconia Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
In its native environment, the plant also typically inhabits regions of the lush tropical forest. It grows best in the warm, moist conditions there.
Yet, individual plants appear to be rather adaptable to varying conditions, and also grow well in either full sun or shade. The majority of plants produce the now famous flowers.
This species also plays an important role in its native habitat. There, it quite frequently serves as a shelter for numerous types of bats native to the region.
It also serves as a major food source for many varieties of hummingbirds.