Heliconias (Order Zingiberales) are comprised eight families, including Strelitziacea ("Bird of Paradise" flower) and Musacea (banana). Most heliconias are pollinated by hummingbirds. This accounts for their bright red colors, which attract hummingbirds. Some heliconias are popular among horticulturalists, but most species are too large and require a narrow range of environmental conditions to make good house plants. In their natural habitat, most heliconias prefer bright open spaces, such as gaps in the forest made by a fallen tree or along river edges. They grow up to about 10 feet tall, often in large stands (grouped together).
Click below for heliconias photos and natural history information:
"...multiple roles make the [heliconia] plant essential to the river edge ecosystem."
Roger Harris and Peter Hutchison The Amazon: The Bradt Travel Guide 1998