Friday, 22 January 2010

The "Lantern" Flower is Heliconia Rostrata!

Out of a total of about 10 dragon fruit plants in our garden, one finally bore fruit! I decided to venture out into the garden to take some pictures. Dad had made several interesting additions to this little plot of green which was a lot barer before. Today, the plot is heavily surrounded by green lush of fruit trees, flower plants and medicinal plants which I find even more fascinating than the previously reigning green lords, the papaya plants.

There were these conspicuously bright-coloured flowers at one corner of our garden, which I immediately asked dad for its name when I saw them. He called it the Birds of Paradise flower and later added that it's also called the Lantern Flower, both of which are wrong. No wonder the other name for this flower is the false birds of paradise flower. Another name is the lobster claw flower.

This flower is called the Heliconia Rostrata (Hanging Heliconia). The flower has cup-shaped petals that are connected by a vine-like extension and hang downwards from the main plant. The origin of the plant is from Peru and Ecuador. I wondered how this plant ended up here in my garden in Brunei. It kind of looks like red bananas hanging out from its trunk.

There were heliconia rostrata of all sorts on this site.

Green everywhere. I love lying down right in the middle at look at the sky after a long, hectic day.

Beautifully flourescent red

As the flower matures, it hangs completely extended. The cup-shaped petals store water and nectar for birds and insects.

Ours look rather unkept as they are sprouting wildly.

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