Cultivar Registration FAQs



Heliconia Society of Puerto Rico, Inc.

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   The following are some frequently asked questions about heliconia cultivar registration.  If you can't find an answer to your question, please email the registrar.


Q:  Is there a fee to register a new heliconia cultivar?

A:  No, heliconia cultivar registration is completely free of charge.


Q:  Can I publish my own heliconia cultivar name?

A:  Yes, but it must be in a dated, hardcopy publication.  Electronic media (like webpages) are not acceptable.  All accepted cultivar submissions will eventually be published by the Heliconia ICRA, but since names are not considered "established" until published, a submitter may choose to expedite establishment of their cultivar name by prior publication.


Q:  What is the difference between "flower" and "inflorescence"?

A:  What is commonly referred to as a heliconia "flower" is actually an inflorescence composed of bracts (modified leaves) arranged on a central rachis.  The true flowers are inside the bracts.

Close up of Heliconia vellerigera 'King Kong' inflorescence,
showing part of the rachis, a bract and a true flower.


Q:  What is "distichous"?

A:  A distichous bract arrangement refers to an inflorescence in which the bracts are in one plane, while a spiral orientation means that the bracts come out at different angles from the central rachis.  Just look at the inflorescence from above to easily determine whether it is distichous or spiral.  The following are photos of distichous and spiral inflorescences:

Distichous                                                       Spiral
(bracts in the same plane)                   (bracts at different angles)


Q:  How do I measure the bract length and width, and why should the bract be "detached"?

A:  In some cases the bract doesn't actually have to be detached, it may just help to measure if they are overlapping.  Here are examples of erect and pendent inflorescences and how to measure bract length and width:

Bract length and width in erect Heliconia caribaea 'Verde Luz'. 
In this example, the first bract was detached in order to expose the
second bract for measurement.

Bract length and width in pendent Heliconia rostrata 'Dwarf'. 
In this example, the bract really doesn't have to be detached
for measurement.




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