It is a close relative of the banana plant as can be seen in the way it grows and to some extent its flowers. The flower bracts are the reason it gets its common name of a lobster claw. It grows to 2 meters tall with glossy leaves arranged on a pseudo-stem.
The flower bracts that appear at any time of year, once the plant is mature, are on a tall spike with the bracts being a golden yellow color. The flowers themselves are quite small and green, barely appearing above the lip of the colorful bract. Unlike the banana, flowering is not a terminal event and the plant will flower year on year once it has started.
As a rainforest floor species, it is tolerant of shady growing conditions and can be kept quite easily as a house plant where the humidity is kept at a reasonable level, standing the pot on a tray of pebbles or similar will help.
It is hardy in Zones 9 to 11, so it can only really be tried outside in only sheltered, frost-free locations. Of all of the Heliconias, this is one of the hardest, but I still would not allow it to be subjected to any frost.
Botanical nomenclature: Heliconia champneiana 'Maya Gold' Grow: Maya Gold Common name: Lobster claw Family: Heliconiaceae Origin: southern Mexico and Central America Height: between 2.00 and 3.00 meters in height. Luminosity: full sun, half shadow, shadow