Parrot’s Beak: A Colorful Tropical Plant
Heliconia psittacorum, also known as “Parakeet Flower” or “Parrot’s Beak”, is a popular plant that many people choose to grow in their homes. This variety is the most common type of heliconia that many people grow. The main reason for this popularity is easiness of growing: these plants are not demanding so they are good even for casual gardeners.
Parakeet Flower is famous for its multi-colored flowers. The flowers are similar to a parrot’s plumage, hence the name “Parrot’s Beak”. There are also other common names for this wonderful plant, such as “Parrot’s Flower, “Parrot’s Tongue” or “Parrot’s Plant”.
Gorgeous Flowers and Foliage
This is a tropical plant that has flowers resembling exotic birds. It has long stems with pointed green leaves. The foliage has red edges and midribs in pink or ivory colors. This gorgeous plant blooms throughout the whole year, which is another reason for its great popularity among gardeners.
The greenish-yellow flowers consist of two parts: the outer bracts that are orange and red, and the inner part that is the true flower. These true flowers are tubular in shape and fused in appearance. The flowers are multi-colored, from yellow to orange, red or even green. There is a dark spot on the tip of each flower, which gives the flowers a very striking look resembling a parrot’s tongue.
This wonderful plant also produces red-orange fruit.
Growing Parrot’s Beak Indoors
These gorgeous plants are often used for cut flower arrangements. However, these are also excellent container plants you can grow in your home or a garden. If you wish to grow it outdoors it is important to leave it in warm enough temperatures. Those living in colder climates should leave their Parrot’s Beak indoors at all times.
Parrot’s Beak has numerous uses in the home and garden. It can be used as a bedding plant or even for groundcover and hedges. It is often used in tropical gardens and around pools. However, if you live in colder climates you can always enjoy this wonderful plant indoors. Simply grow it in a container. The good news is that it doesn’t require much care so it is suitable even for beginner gardeners or those who want to do casual gardening.
Photo credit: Ted’s photos – For Me & You 2014 – Costa Rica – Doka Estate – Heliconia Psittacorum via photopin (license)