Banana Tree Blossom

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Along my ‘birding route’ around Everglades City this past winter, there was a banana tree in a resident’s yard that fascinated me.

The banana tree had nice clusters of bananas growing, but what amazed me more was the purplish/red flower at the end of the stalk.  I’d never seen this before.  πŸ€”

Here’s what I learned along with a few photos….

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Clusters of bananas and a blossom (late afternoon sun)

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The purplish/red banana blossom actually started at the top of the stalk.  The growth of a smaller group of flowers, called hands, forces the top petal to lift.  These hands are tiny clusters of bananas.

Once the first banana clusters start to develop, the stalk will continue to elongate with the blossom, producing more bananas.  One banana tree can produce 240 bananas if conditions are right!

By breaking off the hands and eventually cutting off the remainder of the flower at the right time, it’ll encourage the plant to put more energy into the already produced bananas for tastier, full-sized bananas.

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Bananas and blossom, two weeks later, evening sun

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The banana tree blossoms are also called banana hearts, and like bananas, are an edible delicacy, commonly used in southeast Asian and Indian recipes for salads, curries, and soups.

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Blossom ‘hands’ close-up

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A banana blossom does not taste like a banana though.  Some people say they taste a bit like artichoke leaves, hearts of palm, or bamboo shoots.  Some say it has a slightly nutty and fruity flavor.

The above photos were taken in the late afternoon and evening hours when the banana tree got the most sun.  My next photo shot about two weeks later still, displays the much prettier purplish red coloring of the blossom.

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Banana tree blossom

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And here’s the banana tree in its glory, flanked by a bismarck palm from behind.

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Banana tree with bananas and blossom

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Shortly after my last photos taken, the blossom had been cut off; only the bananas above it remained, gathering more energy.

More info!  Did you know a banana tree is not really a tree?  It is actually a plant.  And bananas are a fruit but not a fruit.  While the banana plant is usually called a banana tree, it’s actually an herb distantly related to ginger, since the plant has a succulent tree stem, instead of a wood one.  However, the yellow thing you peel and eat is, in fact, a fruit because it contains the seeds of the plant.

I only knew I loved bananas.  Now I know more, and maybe you do too.  πŸ˜‰

That’s my teaching for today!  😁

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36 thoughts on “Banana Tree Blossom

  1. Thanks, Teacher! Fascinating stuff and much appreciated. Now there’s a sight I’ll never see! I seem to have an aversion for tropical climes. But it’s so nice to see and visit by way of your lens!!! 😊

  2. I love bananas as much as a monkey! However, my Doctor told me that my Potassium was high in my blood, he told me to stay away from bananas for a while. Great post my dear! πŸ™‚ 🍎 for you!

  3. I love in the last photo how beautiful the silver coloured bismarck palm is, and then behind that there appears to be yet another taller green palm … I’m lost in wonder!

  4. Fascinating, Donna, thanks for this wonderful sequence. Funny, I was just in a community garden last week and my β€˜guide’ pointed out the banana trees of all sizes, but I never noticed if they had blossoms like this. Interestingly, one way I remember that bananas are not actually trees is that the Hebrew blessing on the banana fruit is β€œ…. fruit from the earth”, whereas other fruits like apples and oranges are blessed with the wording β€œ…. fruit of the tree”

  5. Fascinating! Thanks for the banana plant information and the pictures of the edible blossom. I imagine there are lots of foods in the produce aisle we have no idea about how they’re grown.

  6. We learned a lot about bananas and the flower during out time in Asia. The other interesting thing about them is that each ‘tree’ only has one cluster of bananas and then dies.

    • Yes, I read that too since, that the tree only provides one cluster of bananas. I thought it could continue to live but never produce bananas again, only once. Thanks for info!!

  7. Thanks for all the super information about Bananas! Youth wants to know… even when we are in our 80s !

  8. Donna, I enjoyed the sweetness of this lesson. My grandfather would be impressed as well. For years he managed a wholesale produce business, and hundreds of bananas were stored in the cool lower regions of the warehouse.

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