I have recently returned from a marvellous holiday in Costa Rica. Whilst I was looking forward to seeing all that they had to offer, I particularly wanted to see the Heliconias, and I wasn't disappointed - they were everwhere, both cultivated and wild. They don't have gardens in the same way that we do. there are no big houses with long borders. And as a result I was informed that Costa Ricans will recognise a genus, but they are not interested in recognising any species within that genus. That was a shame, as there are something like 260 different species of Heliconia, but neither our UK tour guide, and none of our local guides could identify any of them. Luckily I had my trusty book with me. H.rostrata. This is probably the best know and most often illustrated Heliconia. There is a huge example in the Kew Palm House. H psitticorum. This is one that I am growing and has flowered for me in the UK. It's probably the most popular species with many cultivars. It only grows to 5 feet or so, making it a good candidate for a pot or a border (in warmer climes). Mass H. psitticorum, growing in one of the hotel gardens. H. chartacea. This is another well known one, with a famous cultivar called "Sexy Pink". H. velerigera. A very strange furry one, but as a result easily identified. H.wagneriana. Another popular species seen in the hotel gardens. We now move on to the wild, where we saw lots of different species, but one can only guess at their names. H.caribeae would be my best guess here. It's rather fine though. This is quite distinctive, and i am inclined to say H. mariae. I have no idea about the rest.