Banana plants (musa) are technically herbs and are the largest herbaceous flowering plant. What appears to be the tree trunk is actually a stem from the corm which is in the ground. The banana fruits develop from the banana heart, in a large hanging cluster, made up of tiers (called “hands”), with up to 20 fruit to a tier. The hanging cluster is known as a bunch, comprising 3–20 tiers, or commercially as a “banana stem”, and can weigh 60–110 lb.
Export bananas are picked green, and ripen in special rooms upon arrival in the destination country. These rooms are air-tight and filled with ethylene gas to induce ripening. The vivid yellow color consumers normally associate with supermarket bananas is, in fact, caused by the artificial ripening process.
Each stem will only produce fruit one time.
To propagate banana plants separate pups from mature plant. Plants are self pollinating.
- Dwarf Cavendash: The Dwarf Cavendish banana is a widely grown and commercially important Cavendish cultivar. The name “Dwarf Cavendish” is in reference to the height of the pseudostem, not the fruit. Young plants have maroon or purple blotches on their leaves but quickly lose them as they mature. It is one of the most commonly planted banana varieties from the Cavendish group, and the main source of commercial Cavendish bananas along with Grand Nain.
- Hua Moa: The Hua Moa banana is a creamy tasting delicious banana with a large fruit and a Hawaiian background. Ranked as the worlds best cooking banana and is also enjoyed fresh. Fruits are often 10 inches long and 4 inches wide and it is an easy to grow and carefree plant.
- Unknown variety (pictured): A majority of the banana plants on the property have been donated by friends and neighbors and the exact varieties is unknown, though they are all edible.