Just about a year ago (July 2006) I told the story of our "Hallelujah
Banana". This is a house plant we have been nurturing since 1985
thinking that we would give it just one more year before giving up on
it. Last year was "it" and it was time for it to go but no sooner did we
make this decision then it decided to flower and produce bananas.
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There are about 300 different types of bananas/plantains, few are seen
in the US as many need to ripen on the plant and ripe bananas don't
ship well... none grow on trees (there is no such thing as a banana
tree), they are herbaceous perennials, the world's largest.
I wonder if the plant would have produced more/better fruit if the
blossom had been pollinated?
Thirty years ago we toured a plantation in Jamaica that grew bananas,
coconuts, and nutmeg, IIRC. (In addition to the tour we all got food
poisoning from a delicious chicken curry. Looking back, we realized
that there was no electricity at the lanai where we ate, therefore no
refrigeration for the chicken. One of our party had lamb curry and
did NOT get sick.)
The tour guide said, among other things, that:
1. a banana plant produces only one harvest and must be cut down to
the ground, where it will sprout again and form another "tree" (Yes,
Sheldon was right, they are herbaceous perennials, not trees.)
2. bananas are composed of a large percentage of water and must be
harvested green and allowed to dry/ripen off the plant or they will
never ripen properly. I don't know how accurate this is because I
have seen yellow bananas on the plant in greenhouses.
TheEnd because that's all I know about bananas....
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