Herbs, perennial, from rhizomes. True aerial stems absent or weak and concealed in pseudostem. Leaves basal or basal and cauline, in 2 ranks, differentiated into basal sheath, petiole, and blade; sheaths overlapping, forming unbranched pseudostem, open, ligule absent; summit of petiole not differentiated; blade with lateral veins parallel, diverging from prominent midrib. Inflorescences 1 per aerial shoot, projecting from tip of pseudostem, pedunculate racemes of several- to many-flowered monochasial cymes (cincinni); bracts of main axis enclosing cincinni. Flowers bisexual, bilaterally symmetric; sepals and petals scarcely differentiated, sepals 3, petals 3, 2 sepals and 3 petals fused, remaining sepal distinct; fertile stamens 5, not petal-like; anthers 2-locular; 1 rudimentary staminode opposite free sepal; ovary inferior, 3-carpellate, 3-locular, all locules fertile; placentation basal; ovules 1 per locule; style standing away from stamens and staminode, filiform, stigma capitate or 3-lobed. Fruits 1--3-seeded drupes, sepals not persistent in fruit. Seeds: aril absent, endosperm copious, perisperm copious, embryo straight. x = 12.
|Heliconia, False Bird-of-paradise, Family , Heliconia Family, or Lobster-claw Family|