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Meet the Zingibers
PhytoPhoto.com

 

Heliconia and their relations in the old Zingiberaceae include some of the most iconic and provocative tropical plants in existence as well as ginger, cardamum and turmeric. A truly American invention, they hail from Central and South America and islands of the South Pacific. Appearing along a narrow road of monocot evolution, the Heliconia are like a gorgeous and sophisticated older sister to the likes of bananas and ginger. Describing their flowers require leaving behind the typical botany of petal and stem, perhaps because they are pollinated almost exclusively by hummingbirds. Groups of hummers and heliconia have co-evolved, influencing changes in each other in a tandem dance of evolution over the ages. Here is a glimpse into a project I shot for Hana Hou magazine in 2016 showcasing some of the beauty and diversity of these amazing flowers. A link to the article can be found here.

 

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