Scientific Name: Heliconia latispatha
Common Names: Expanded Lobster Claw, Expanded Lobsterclaw, Golden Lobster Claw
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental garden plant is native to Mexico and Central and South America.
Flower Color: Green, Yellow, Orange. The more conspicuous floral bracts are orange or red.
Height: Up to 10 feet (3 m) tall
Description: The relatively inconspicuous flowers emerge from within elongated, narrowly claw-shaped, spirally arranged floral bracts on erect, up to 18 inch (46 cm) tall inflorescences. The flowers are followed by blue, hairless fruits. The leaves are simple, alternate, long-petioled, and have green, lanceolate leaf blades with a stout midrib and parallel, pinnate veins. The pseudostems (formed by the leaf sheaths) emerge from underground rhizomes.
Here in Hawaii, Expanded Lobster Claw is both cultivated and grows wild in sunny to partly shady areas at lower elevations. The large, unusual inflorescences make long lasting cut flowers in tropical flower arrangements.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Family: Heliconiaceae – Heliconia family
Genus: Heliconia L. – heliconia
Species: Heliconia latispatha Benth. – expanded lobsterclaw
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