Heliconia bihai (red palulu) of the Heliconiaceae family is an erect herb typically growing taller than 1.5 m. It is native to northern South America and the West Indies. It is especially common in northern Brazil and the Guianas but also found in Hispaniola, Jamaica, the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Venezuela and Colombia.<ref name=wcsp>Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Heliconia bihai </ref><ref>Template:Pt icon Checklist das Plantas do Nordeste (Checklist of Plants of Northeast Brazil): Heliconia bihai</ref> Other names by which the plant is commonly known include balisier<ref>"HELICONIACEAE Heliconia bihai" at Plants For Use.</ref> and macawflower.
This plant is used as an ornamental plant in hot regions with a humid climate (USDA zone 9-11), and is typically pollinated by bats and hummingbirds.<ref>Template:Pt icon Lorenzi, H.; Souza, M. S. (2001) Plantas Ornamentais no Brasil: arbustivas, herbáceas e trepadeiras. Plantarum Template:ISBN</ref>
This upward facing flower of the Heliconia family, which acts as a cup, is a natural source of rain water for birds and insects.
Use as a symbol
This plant is used as the symbol to represent the People's National Movement political party of Trinidad and Tobago,<ref>Ferdie Ferreira, "PNM and the balisier, the symbol of fertility", Newsday, 28 November 2011.</ref> as well as by the Martinique Progressive Party (Parti Progressiste Martiniquais) of the French Overseas Department of Martinique, in the West Indies.