Heliconia is the only genus in its family, Heliconiaceae, in the order Zingiberales. Its most famous cousins are bananas (Musaceae), gingers (Zingiberaceae), birds of paradise (Strelitziaceae) and cannas (Cannaceae).
The colorful bracts, always in shades of red, yellow, orange and green, protect the true flowers that last only a day or two and are replaced by others over the months-long life of the inflorescence.
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