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Heliconia vellerigera


Heliconia vellerigera Poepp.

Family Name: Heliconiaceae
Synonyms: Bihai vellerigera
Common Name: Donkey's Tail, King Kong Heliconia, Furry Heliconia


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Shrubby
Maximum Height 1.8 m to 3.0 m


Native Distribution Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Tall herbaceous, clump-forming shrub from South America. Large banana-like leaves. Inflorescence pendulous and attractive, with up to 20-30 bracts. Bracts and rachis are reddish-brown and strikingly woolly, enclosing true non-descript flowers that are yellow and waxy.Tolerates saline soils and occasional waterlogging. Propagate by division of clump, or removal of suckers found at base of parent plant. Genus 'Heliconia' is named after Mount Helicon in Greece, the supposed home of the mythological Muses.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Saline Soils / Salt Spray
Landscape Uses General, Flowerbed / Border, Swimming Poolside, Focal Plant, Coastal
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Sucker, Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Lanceolate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Typical Foliar Area Macrophyll ( 182.25cm2 - 1640.25 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Acaulescent
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Rhizome)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Brown, Red, Yellow / Golden
Inflorescence Type Panicle
Flowering Period Free-Flowering
Flower Lifespan on Plant Several Days
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Image Repository



Master ID 789
Species ID 2084
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 23 February 2022.