Parrot Flower, the varied and fantastic forms and rich colors of the different species of (Parrot Flower) Heliconia make them an important florist item, particularly prized for large and signature arrangements. Parrot Flower, is named after Mount Helicon, the seat of the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts and sciences in Greek mythology. Like their god Apollo, the Muses supposedly remained young and beautiful forever like the long-lasting and elegant flowers of Heliconia. Lobster claw and Crab's claw are additional common names for flowers in this genus.
Parrot Flowers are normally harvested fully mature – the flowers will not open past the stage at which they are harvested. While flowers last longer if the bracts are less open compared to more open, they generally do not open further after harvest and that may reduce their visual appeal. Therefore, the openness of the flower at purchase often is the most it ever will open. Consumer life varies greatly among species and cultivars, thus, learn species and cultivar differences. Parrot Flowers are native to the tropical Americas, and are therefore very sensitive to chilling injury. They should never be held at temperatures below 10-12.5ºC. Flowers may be stored in moist shredded newsprint, or in water at 12.5ºC.
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