Banana Tree Blossom

.

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.  šŸ¤”

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

.

DSC_4706-1 121920

Clusters of bananas and a blossom (late afternoon sun)

.

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.

.

DSC_5123-1 122720

Bananas and blossom, two weeks later, evening sun

.

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.

.

DSC_5123-3 122720

Blossom ‘hands’ close-up

.

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.

.

DSC_2649-2 11521

Banana tree blossom

.

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

.

DSC_4704-1 121920

Banana tree with bananas and blossom

.

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.  šŸ˜‰

That’s my teaching for today!  šŸ˜

.
.
error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: