Heliconia impudica, fresh seeds from Ecuador
fresh seeds of Heliconia impudica
Heliconia impudica belongs to the family of the Heliconaceae. It is native to Equador where it occurs until 2200 m above sea level. In Europe it is used as an ornamental plant and also sold as cut flowers. It has a pseudo trunk, just like the banana plant. The leaves are very big and simple; they resemble the leaves of the banana plant. The leaves are used in some tropic regions to wrap food. The flowers stand in inflorescences that are surrounded by bracts. The inflorescence of H. impudica is erect and reddish to yellowish. The inflorescence can get 1 to 1, 6 m long.
The flowers are white. H. impudica is pollinated by hummingbirds like most of the Heliconia species. The hummingbirds drink the nectar that the inflorescences produce in great amounts. Some hummingbirds visit just “their own” Heliconia which leads to coevolution between hummingbird and Heliconia regarding the form of the flower and the form of the hummingbird’s beak.
Animals distribute the seeds when they eat the fruit. The fruit includes 1 to 3 seeds.
Cultivation from seeds
The seeds of H. impudica are extremely hard and should be roughened before planting. They can be put 1 cm deep into the substrate afterwards. Heliconias like it warm and germinate best when the substrate is constantly moist and the temperature is at about 25 to 30 °C. Nevertheless germination time varies very much.