Genus of the Week
Week of August 24-30
You may have noticed that the Genus of the Week has not been updated recently. You also may
have had trouble accessing this page. Both of these things are due to a problem with our web
server that I have been working very hard to fix. Please keep stopping by; once the web server
problem is fixed the Genus of the Week will be back!!
This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources on a particular genus.
Visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes,
a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.
This week's genus:
Number of Species: About 50
Root: named for Mt. Helicon, a 5,738 foot high mountain (and supposed home of the nine
Muses) located in Boeotia, a region of Greece.
Plants in the genus Heliconia are native to the tropical regions of the Americas. They
are found in the same family as the Bird-of-Paradise (Strelitzia sp.), and have similarly
sheathed flowers. Because of their odd-shaped inflorescences (a common name for this genus is
"Lobster Claw"), they are often grown as ornamentals or used in flower arrangements. This genus
is the insignia for the government in Trinidad.
Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Heliconia species:
- The Heliconia Society of Puerto Rico has a
great site devoted to the promotion of this genus. Learn all about this genus, see lots of
photos, and maybe even order a Heliconia calendar.
- The Vascular Plant Image Gallery has a
plethora of images for this genus. Seven different
species are featured.
- How can I -not- have a link to Highland Heliconia,
their URL is "www.heliconia.com"! Their home page has several unlabeled pictures of Heliconia,
as well as links to catalog (Just in case you want some Heliconia for your very own).
- Stop by the Heliconia Page, part
of the "Aroid and Ginger" web site put together by Timothy Chapman.
Heliconia Brazil, a site dedicated to the cataloguing and preservation of the
beautiful plants of the Heliconaceae. (Added 2/17/98)
- Hargreaves, Dorothy and Bob. Tropical Blossoms of the Caribbean. Lahaina, Hawaii, Ross-Hargreaves: 1960.
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
- Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.
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