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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 10/28/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 10/28/2012)
Genus HELICONIA L.
PlaceOfPublication Mant. 2:147. 1771.
Synonym Bihai Mill. ex Adans. Fam. 2:67. 1763; 0. Ktze. Rev. Gen. 2:684. 1891; Griggs in Bull. Torrey Club 42:315-330. 1915, et alibi. Bihaia 0. Ktze. Rev. Gen. 2:684. 1891, nom. altern. Heliconiopsis Miq. Fl. Ind. Bat. 3:590. 1858.
Description Rhizomatous herbs with the habit of a Canna or a Banana, mediocre or very large; leaves distichous, frequently very large; inflorescence spiciform, with con- spicuous distichous, more or less conduplicate bracts subtending the clusters of flowers, erect or pendulous; flowers perfect; perianth segments in 2 series, the inner petals more or less connate, sometimes very unequal, the outer sepals separate and more or less adnate to the corolla; stamens 5 or 6, the sixth sometimes staminodial and petaloid; ovary inferior, 3-celled; fruit a loculicidally dehiscent capsule, somewhat fleshy and berry-like.
Key a. Bracts closely imbricated for virtually their entire length at anthesis, concealing the rachis, except occasionally at the very base; plants very massive, 3-6 m. tall, resembling a Banana. b. Inflorescence erect or only slightly deflexed, somewhat cylindric in fruit; bracts ovate, broadest at the base, somewhat ascending or horizontally spreading, usually somewhat greenish at the keel; plants 3-4 m. tall - 1. H. IMBRICATA bb. Inflorescence pendulous, greatly compressed in fruit; bracts rhom- boid, broadest distinctly above the base, somewhat deflexed at an- thesis, deep red throughout; plants 4-6 m. tall - - 2. H. MARIAE aa. Bracts imbricated only at their gradually decurrent bases at anthesis, thus concealing the true rachis except occasionally at the very base, ovate to ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, uniformly ascending in both flower and fruit, usually reddish with greenish or yellowish margins and keel, occasionally wholly reddish or yellowish; inflorescence erect; plants stout, 2.5-6.0 m. tall, resembling a Banana -3. H. BIHAI aaa. Bracts relatively distant, only rarely somewhat imbricated at anthesis, the bases not decurrent nor concealing the rachis. b. Bracts coriaceous, broadened at the base, thus concealing the flower- ing and fruiting pedicels; plants relatively stout, 1.5-5.0 m. tall, resembling a Banana. c. Inflorescences erect; bracts spiral*, the lowermost more or less expanded and leaf-like. d. Inflorescence glabrous or inconspicuously puberulent. e. Inflorescence shortly pedunculate, the lowermost bracts usu- ally bearing conspicuous leafy blades; perianth about 3.5 cm. long - 4. H. LATISPATHA ee. Inflorescence long-pedunculate, the lowermost bracts usually only slightly expanded and leafy; perianth about 4.5 cm. long - 5. H. LANKESTERI dd. Inflorescence densely ferruginous-tomentose to glabrate, the lowermost bract usually bearing a conspicuous leafy blade; perianth about 5.5 cm. long - 6. H. VILLOSA cc. Inflorescences pendent. d. Bracts horizontally spreading or somewhat ascending at an- thesis, the lowermost more or less expanded and leaf-like; inflorescence inconspicuously puberulent to glabrate -7. H. PLATYSTACHYS dd. Bracts conspicuously deflexed at anthesis, apparently never foliaceous. e. Inflorescence rather inconspicuously puberulent; bracts very broadly ovate, nearly as broad as long, obtuse to broadly acute - 8. H. ROSTRATA ee. Inflorescence very conspicuously ferruginous-pubescent, the lower rachis strikingly hirsute; bracts ovate-lanceolate, less than half as broad as long, acuminate to narrowly acute 9. H. VELLERIGERA bb. Bracts membranaceous in flower, somewhat coriaceous in fruit, somewhat narrowed at the base, thus revealing the flowering and fruiting pedicels; plants relatively slender, 1-3 m. tall, resem- bling a Canna. c. Bracts laxly spreading in flower, nearly horizontal or somewhat deflexed in fruit, the lowermost occasionally more or less ex- panded and foliaceous; berries broader than long; leaves relative- ly broad, abruptly acuminate -10. H. SUBULATA cc. Bracts sharply ascending in flower, laxly spreading in fruit; berries about as long as broad; leaves relatively narrow, gradually acuminate - 11. H. PSITTACORUM *Difficult to observe in pressed specimens. The spiral appearance seems to be due to a secondary twisting of the rachis, the taxy of the bracts actually being distichous.
 
 
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