Alphabetical Plant Listing

Heliconia caribaea (Wild Plantain)

Caribbean Heliconia, Wild Plantain


Adding an exotic touch to gardens and containers, Heliconia caribaea (Wild Plantain) is a large evergreen perennial boasting huge, oblong, leathery, dark green leaves. Borne on attractive long petioles, 4-5 ft. long (120-150 cm), they arise directly from the rhizomatous rootstock. The spectacular flowers are held in showy clusters that emerge from second year stalks. They are actually modified leaves and bracts in the shape of lobster claws. Deep, rich red or bright yellow, they are 6-8 in. long (15-20 cm). Looking rather like a banana plant, Heliconia caribaea is used as a specimen plant for tropical gardens. The flowers and excellent and long-lasting in flower arrangements.

  • Grows up to 6-15 ft. tall (180-450 cm) and 3-6 ft. wide (90-180 cm).
  • Performs best in partial shade in humus-rich, moist, fertile, well-drained soils. Fertilize this plant regularly during the growing season. Protect from strong winds.
  • Keep an eye out for cercospora and helminthosporum leaf spots. Scales and nematodes may also cause problems.
  • Propagate by division of rhizomes or from seeds.
  • Native to the Caribbean - Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Leeward Isles, Windward Isles.

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Requirements

Hardiness 10 – 11
Climate Zones 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6' – 15' (180cm – 4.5m)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spacing 36" – 60" (90cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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By Pilialoha, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 10 – 11
Climate Zones 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 6' – 15' (180cm – 4.5m)
Spread 3' – 6' (90cm – 180cm)
Spacing 36" – 60" (90cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Mediterranean Garden

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