5

Please Identify this plant:

Location: Mumbai, India
Height: About 1 meter
Fragrance in Flower: No

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I disagree. It is a heliconia. Related to Strelitzia but not the same genus. Unlike strelitzia there are hundreds of heliconia species and even more cultivars and hybrids so an exact identification is going to be more difficult but it might be a cultivar of H. psittacorum. It looks a lot like the cultivar 'Choconiana' a picture of which can be found at http://www.heliconiasocietypr.org/heliconia_psittacorum_choconiana_small.JPG.

More psittacorum cultivars can be found at http://www.heliconiasocietypr.org/heliconia_cultivars5.htm

  • I think you're right based on the shape of the flower. – kevinsky Dec 9 '13 at 19:46
  • Yes, it looks like H. psittacorum! – jaczjill Dec 14 '13 at 15:15
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This is a Strelitzia. A similar question was asked here. It is also known as the bird of paradise and is comparatively easy to grow in full sun to semi shade. It flowers on a seasonal basis and is drought tolerant once established. A rich loamy soil and regular feeding with compost or fertilizer will encourage flowering. This plant does not tolerate frost but will benefit from cooler night temperatures.

The guides say this plant is wind resistant but indoors where I saw it the leaves tended to look a bit tattered as people going by it would cause tears in the leaf. Susceptible to mealy bug and false scale. The large leaves make pest control easier unless the pest can hide in the axils of the leave sheathes.

The flowers are the key identification feature here: 3 brilliant orange sepals and 3 bright blue petals which make a good cut flower. When not in flower this can be mistaken for a banana plant which has similar leaves that are not as dark a green or as thick.

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