September 19, 2017

Home, Sweet Home

Roger Sampson Photo | Heliconia, pictured at Auckland Domain in New Zealand

Roger Sampson Photo | Heliconia, pictured at Auckland Domain in New Zealand

Many plants provide shelter to different creatures and Heliconia around the world are no exception. Related to the banana family, these tropical plants are known for their showy looks, which are the source for their common names: lobster-claw, parrot flower and false bird-of-paradise. The flowers actually are tiny and nearly hidden inside those colorful bracts, making access to the blossoms restrictive, with only certain birds – usually hummingbirds – capable of accessing the nectar. As for shelter, it extends from certain tiny aquatic organisms that live in water collected in the bracts to the Honduran White bat, which uses the leaves of five different species to make tent-like roosts.

This flower was photographed by Roger Sampson at Auckland Domain in New Zealand. Roger is a New Zealand photographer who describes his work as a hobby. “Nature is the star,” he says, “and I just expose nature.” You can find him on Facebook and YouTube.

Roger tweeted the photo to Garden Maine, but we didn’t know what we were looking at until the Auckland Museum kindly answered. Here is our chat.