Today’s photos show the flower and fruit of our neighbour’s banana tree. I read that banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. They are actually giant herbs of the same family as lilies, orchids, and palms.
The banana flower is a large, dark purple-red blossom that is seen at the end of a bunch of bananas; it is also called the banana heart. The banana heart consist of several flowers that develop into bananas. The banana heart is edible and eaten as a vegetable; however in Jamaica, we throw the banana hearts away.
Here are a couple pictures of the female flowers which have petals and other flower parts at the tip of the ovary. The word ‘banan’ is the Arabic word for finger; and for each cluster or bunch of bananas there are several tiers or hands. Each hand of banana contains individual fingers or bananas. I understand that because of the potassium content found in bananas, these fruits are naturally slightly radioactive, more than most other fruits. Regardless, they are a favourite for most persons all around the world.