To many people, Heliconia, also known as lobster claw, is the essence of the tropics. These plants are heavily cultivated in tropical areas, and grow profusely in places such as Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Bali. Indeed, they aren't ideal indoor plants—they tend toward being large, and they are only magnificent during their flowering period when long strands of red, fantastic flowers hand from the plant. In this sense, they are closely aligned to their cousins, the bird-of-paradise, and banana. However, like these tropical wonders, if you have the right conditions and you're looking for an interesting challenge, a Heliconia is sure to answer that inclination. Keep in mind, though; there are about 400 species of Heliconia. While you might not have much of a selection at your local garden center, if you have the option to buy a newer dwarf cultivar, it will make your life easier in the long run.