Heliconia berguidoi

Heliconia berguidoi

Heliconia berguidoi

Heliconia berguidoi

Heliconia berguidoi

A Heliconia in the subgenus Griggsia in the section Barbatae. It has pink flowers, a rare color for Heliconias, and a large flower structure that sometimes touches the ground.

The authors of the paper describing this species have suggested that it should be considered Critically Endangered [CR] because it inhabits a restricted range (estimated to be 4 square km) that is threatened by human activities, namely agriculture and logging.


It is generally distinguished from other species by its long, smooth petioles (leaf stems) that are wooly at their base, lateral slits in the leaves, large flower structure that is wooly and red with golden hairs, and pink flowers.

Growth form: An herb resembling a banana plant, with leafy shoots 4.5 - 5 m tall that grow in groups forming "false stems" that are mostly smooth but with wooly margins.

Foliage: Large (to 160 cm long / 48 cm wide), symmetrical leaves held more or less horizontally with large (to 180cm), green petioles that are wooly at their base. The leaves are mostly green (paler underneath) and usually laterally split into thin segments.

Flowering structures: Large peduncle (stem of the floral structure; to 220 cm), hanging, with a wooly texture, red with golden hairs. Branching Bracts (photo A, below) arranged in a spiral, around 25 per inflorescence, texture and color similar to the larger structure. Internal bracts (photo B, below) surrounding the flowers are pink and somewhat smoother. Flowers (photo C, below) mostly pink but white at the base, usually 11 - 21 per branch.

Fruits: Smooth, light blue, 10 - 14 mm long / 9 mm wide.

H. berguidoi bosquejo
Sketch of the structures of H. berguidoi from Flores et al. (2017).
Flor de H. berguidoi
Photos of the bracts (A&B) and flowers (C) of H. berguidoi from Flores et al. (2017).


To date, this species has only been encountered in Cerro Chucantí.

Biology and Natural History

Habitat: Mature and regenerating secondary premontane forest around 800 - 900 m in elevation.

Phenology: mature flowers were observed in the wild in March, the fruits have not yet been observed in the wild. In cultivation, both the flowers and fruits are present year-round.


This species received its name in honor of Guido Berguido, founder of ADOPTA and the Cerro Chucantí Private Nature Reserve.


iNat Observations
  • Flores, R., C. Black & A. Ibáñez (2017). A new species of Heliconia (Heliconiaceae) with pendent inflorescence, from Chucantí Private Nature Reserve, eastern Panama. Phytotaxa. (77): 21-32. (Link)