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Hanging Lobster Claw, False Bird of Paradise, Lobster-claw, Crab Claw, Hanging Heliconia

Heliconia rostrata


The inconspicuous, yellow flowers emerge from claw-shaped bracts on magnificent, up to 3 feet (0.9 m) long, pendent, zigzagged inflorescences. If pollinated by hummingbirds or nectivorous bats (neither of which are found here in Hawaii), the flowers are followed by violet fruits. The leaves are simple, alternate, long-petioled, and have green, lanceolate leaf blades that are easily shredded by the wind. The pseudostems (formed by the leaf sheaths) emerge from underground rhizomes. Here in Hawaii, Hanging Lobster Claw is grown in sunny to partly shady gardens at lower elevations. The plants are propagated by rhizome division. The flowers make long lasting cut flowers in tropical flower arrangements.


Shady gardens

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Spotted by

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, USA

Spotted on Oct 9, 2012
Submitted on Oct 11, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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