Garden

Wild Plantain | A Showy Perennial Broadleaf for the Tropical Garden

Wild Plantain | A Showy Perennial Broadleaf for the Tropical Garden

 Wild Plantain (Heliconia Caribaea)

Derived originally from the Heliconia species whose origins are Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Central America and Columbia, the Wild Plantain (also known as Lobster Claws) is a showy, herbaceous perennial hardy to USDA Zones 10 to 11. Trunkless and stemless, this spectacular plant produces leafstalks which reach an impressive 6-15 feet in height and 4 to 6 feet  in length.  Wild plantain produces claw-like bracts (red and yellow; the edges are green tinged)) beginning from second-year stalks. The beautiful and colorful bracts grow from 6 to 8 inches and are widely used in floral arrangements which feature a tropical flair.

Wild Plantain thrive in part sun exposure, well draining, moist soil rich with organic matter. It will need protect from strong winds and has average watering needs.  The plants should regularly be fertilized during the growing season.  Wild plantion will need occasional monitoring as the plants can suffer from pests such as nematodes/scales  and leaf spot diseases (Helminthosporum and Cercospora).

Given its uniqueness and vibrancy, this exquisite plant would surely be an amazing addition to any tropical garden.

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