Learn how your comment data is processed. A banana (the yellow thing you peel and eat) is undoubtedly a fruit (containing the seeds of the plant), though since commercially grown banana plants are sterile, the seeds are reduced to little specks. It's here! We had a hand of bananas last year and this year as well (this year we had three stalks develop hands) as well; but the growing season just doesn’t last long enough for the hands to grow and ripen. Although it is often termed as a tree, banana is a plant, more particularly a herbaceous perennial. Banana plants do not have a supporting, wooden trunk. In the case of bananas, they’re a fruit… but not a fruit. Most widely referred to as a fruit, the banana is actually a herb. But from a botanist’s standpoint, whether something is an herb or not is about the plant, not the fruit. Home Over the course of a year, the stalk gradually pushes its way out from the center of the pseudostem and terminates in a large, flowering, fruit-bearing bud called an inflorescence. In culinary circles, herbs are generally defined as edible plant parts that do not produce seeds. Fruit vs. Herb According to Oxford Dictionaries, a banana is a fruit because it contains seeds. When chopped down with an Axe, it will drop four Planks, and two Bananas. The banana plant, often erroneously referred to as a "tree", is a large herb, with succulent, very juicy stem (properly "pseudostem") which is a cylinder of leaf-petiole sheaths, reaching a height of 20 to 25 ft (6-7.5 m) and arising from a fleshy rhizome or corm. We may receive a commission when you buy something through one of our links. As the petal-like bracts on the bud begin to open one by one, they reveal double rows of nectar-rich blossoms. A Banana Plant on a Raft Banana Plants can be found in the Plantation area of Tangaroa. Your post is very interesting, I’m sharing with my followers. Wait until late spring when the one inch cup-shaped cream rose or maroon colored flow… The banana of commerce in North America is Musa x paradisiaca, a sterile, usually triploid (three sets of chromosomes instead of a pair), seedless hybrid. Or that a banana is actually an herb AND a berry? Bananas aren’t really a fruit. I believe the secret to a good life is... Read more. ), Related: 11 Vegetables You Grow That You Didn’t Know You Could Eat. I’m also learning how attractive flowering plants are. However, you need to protect the banana plant from getting too hot to prevent scorching. The pseudostem begins as a small shoot from an underground rhizome called a corm. Rather, it forms a succulent stalk, or pseudo-stem. Banana plant. Rather, it forms a succulent stalk, or pseudostem. However, a banana plant is technically a large herb, distantly related to ginger. A good work friend gifted us with a single corm (baby plant) three years ago and that one has multiplied into several more. Banana plants include a variety of plants belonging to the genus Musa. But these arent its most spectacular attributes. A banana is considered an herb in botanical terms because it never forms a woody stem (or trunk) the way a tree does. You just have to make sure the location is the one you like and won’t disturb. The seeds can be planted in Large Crop Plots to grow Banana Plants … … In fact, the plant may even continue to grow a bit in your garage. (And to quash that misnomer, bananas are not related to palm trees either.). The tree has glossy evergreen leaves and an attractive rounded habitat. I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. After all the female flowers have fruited, they’re followed by rows of sterile flowers that wither and shed in succession, then rows of male flowers that also wither and shed. A banana (the yellow thing you peel and eat) is undoubtedly a fruit (containing the seeds of the plant: see 'Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? They’re one of those things in life that aren’t what they seem to be, the way tomatoes are technically fruits (not vegetables) and dandelions are herbs (not weeds). All Rights Reserved. I actually really enjoyed this article. I leave a foot or two of height, cover with wheat straw and a tarp for the winter. See more from Random Questions About Language Keep this in mind when planting, and follow the rest of these instructions. Well, they are and they aren’t. How fun would that be to have bananas amid my conifers and aspens? Random Questions About Language While most people think of basil, parsley, or rosemary when they think of herbs, it’s easier to see how a banana can be an herb if we look at more “exotic” herbs like lemongrass, horseradish, and wasabi. A banana is considered an herb in botanical terms because it never forms a woody stem (or trunk) the way a tree does. Lexico's first Word of the Year! Plant the banana rhizome upright and be sure the roots are well covered with soil. We just had our first hard frost. If you never remove or transplant the shoots, they end up growing in clusters and give the appearance of a large, mature tree. So it is actually a plant, IE: Herb. Banana plants are often mistaken for trees.Bananas have a false stem (called pseudostem), which is made by the lower part of the leaves.This pseudostem can grow to be two to eight meters tall. Cut a notch halfway into the tree, opposite the side of the bunch. But the plants grow to about 15-20 feet and are the centerpiece to our back yard and gardens. The banana plant, however, is an herb because it does not have a … Bananas are Old World herbs that are grown in all parts of the tropics that have sufficient rainfall. Is a banana an herb? So a banana “tree” is not technically a woody tree. A banana tree is not actually classified as a tree due to the fact that it has no wood fibers. I was eating a banana and when I read the bit about the fruit being produced from an ovary… I’m just not going to eat it anymore. A fruit is defined in the botanical world as the part of the plant that bears the seed – therefore putting tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, green peppers and more in the fruit category. The small flower at the tip of each banana will become dry and easily rub off, or the banana plant will lose most of its leaves. This constant process produces many generations of shoots and a single corm can have a productive lifespan of decades. Whether or not you locate a sucker or seed, the instructions for growing your own banana plant will remain the same. Rather, it forms a succulent stalk, or pseudostem. Is Banana a Herb? So, it’s an herb and a berry… How’s that for confusing? However, if you’ve ever peeled the fruit (err, berry) of an ornamental pink banana plant (Musa velutina), you may have noticed the flesh was full of big black seeds. I had heard that bananas were berries and also that they were herbs so I wasn’t sure so thanks for writing this it *cough* helped. I’m not much of a banana person (unless it’s cooked in rum and butter, though that combo will make anything taste divine), but I loved having banana trees around when I lived in zone 10b. It grows upward as a single stalk with a tight spiral of leaf sheaths wrapped around it. Banana trees are one of the common trees that come to mind when dreaming of the tropics, but did you know that it is not really a tree? The banana plant is called a 'banana tree' in popular use, but it's technically regarded as a herbaceous plant (or 'herb'), not a tree, because the stem does not contain true woody tissue. They will be back next year. The bananas produced by the plant are the fruit of the herb. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. lol =). Ours has become the center piece of our back yard and gardens. I went out to the grove and cut down all my banana plants, covered them with wheat straw, followed by a tarp weighted down by the cut trunks. As you likely guessed, individual bananas on a hand are called fingers. Never knew that bananas were herbs. What Is a Banana Plant?. Both. There are no seeds, as modern-day cultivated bananas (like the Cavendish variety sold in stores, or the popular apple bananas and ice cream bananas grown in backyards) are sterile. As the pseudostem grows, these leaves unfurl and fan out at the top. It gets cold here about now. It is considered a herb in botanical terms because it never forms a woody stem the way a tree does. Botanically speaking, a plant can be called an herb if it doesn't have a woody stem and dies back to the ground every year. The fruit itself is actually a giant berry, and what is often thought of as the trunk of the tree is just a large modified stem. Even though I call them “trees,” they’re actually plants — and to be more specific, banana plants are herbaceous perennials. Although a banana “tree” can grow up to 20 feet tall, a banana tree isn’t a tree at all; it’s the world’s largest herb. It’s currently living indoors as a houseplant. The category a fruit falls … Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. When cold weather arrives just cut them down to the ground. Among the many trees that grew in my Southern California garden, there was an abundance of bananas flourishing year-round, all in different stages of ripeness. 11 Vegetables You Grow That You Didn’t Know You Could Eat, Arab slave traders who also traded bananas, Choco Banana Date Cookies (aka Breakfast in a Bite), Baked Banana Donuts with Chocolate Hazelnut Glaze, How to Propagate Lemongrass from Store-Bought Stalks, 7 Proven Tips and Tricks to Make a Christmas Tree Last Longer, Make the Best Seed Starting Mix for Dirt Cheap (It's Organic Too), Dollar Store Deals: Secrets to Scoring Cheap Seed Starting Supplies. Bananas are susceptible to fungal diseases, like many plants are, but they are far from disappearing. The second year plants will put out a rachis and form the fruit hands. It’s really amazing that the plant will sprout in the spring when it gets warm and grow to about 15-20 feet and have babies. Wow, I never thought about bananas surviving a frost. Bananas are both a fruit and not a fruit. A plant produces a single crop of bananas and then dies, propagated only by new shoots from the corm. Your doctor is right about that. Several shoots (or pups) emerge from the base of the old pseudostem and become new plants that also flower, fruit, die, and spur the next set of shoots. I’ve tried this several times and eventually just left the rachis on, since I never noticed a difference in the size or quality of my bananas whenever I trimmed the rachis. Physical description The banana plant is a gigantic herb that springs from an underground stem, or rhizome, to form a false trunk 3–6 metres (10–20 feet) high. It is commonly thought that bananas grow on trees; however this is not exactly the case. You may also be interested in: What is the origin of the word 'OK'? As you can imagine, the bees went wild over our banana blossoms and hummingbirds made frequent visits throughout the day. It is actually the world's largest herb. They’re a staple in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines and commonly found in the produce aisles of those markets in the United States. An herb in botanical term means a plant without woody stems. The standardized Global English is spread by the media and the Internet. The Banana tree is a short-life perennial plant. Banana plants also do best in soils with pH levels between 5.5 and 7.0. I didn’t know much about bananas other than the plants themselves are struggling with disease and disappearing. Thank you! According to Stanford University it’s not just that the banana plant is technically an herb — the banana fruit is also technically a berry. Is A Banana A Fruit Or A Herb? That depends on whom you ask. Bananas need moist, fertile, well-drained soil and lots of sun. The banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant. There's a small chance of receiving extra Bananas or even Banana Seeds when chopping down a Banana Plant. After fruiting, the pseudostem dies to the ground but the corm remains active with new points of growth. Therefore, to a botanist, banana is an herb. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. . People will come to visit us and get impressed with the raised garden and kiwis on trellis but their eyes always settle on the banana plants. Let them grow outside if you like…in the ground. It is also important to note that bananas are actually herbs, so they don’t grow on trees. But! During the flowering stage, an inflorescence (also called a banana heart, as it emerges from the heart of the plant) appears on the end of the stem. © Garden Betty 2010-2020. It is usually a long, tapered, tightly wrapped, deep purple bud. Musa velutina (hardy to zone 7b) and Musa basjoo (hardy to zone 5, though it won’t flower when it’s that cold) are two such varieties that will send up new shoots in spring when the weather warms up again, as long as the corm is heavily mulched and protected. A few of them even grew over my hammocks and infused such a balmy and tropical feel to the setting, it was easy to forget that we lived in the city with foghorns blowing from the Port of Los Angeles every day. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more ». Now that I’m in Central Oregon, I’m entertaining the idea of growing bananas again in my landscape. Here Are Our Top English Tips, The Best Articles To Improve Your English Language Usage, The Most Common English Language Questions, See more from Random Questions About Language. Some people believe that cutting off the rachis after the last hand of bananas will send more energy to the developing fruits. Bananas are bred as parthenocarpic plants and don’t require any pollination to produce fruit. You may also be interested in: What is the origin of the word 'OK'? You can still enjoy homegrown bananas if you live in a colder climate. In normal usage, the word "herb" refers to a plant that's leaves are used as flavoring for foods, or possibly for their pleasant aroma. Explore The English Language Are You Learning English? The banana plant is 99 percent water, anyway. Bananas Are Botanically Berries As surprising as this may sound, botanically speaking, bananas are considered berries. The trunk is composed of the main fruiting stem enrobed by leaves. (You can eat banana hearts, by the way. The pseudostem begins as a small shoot from an underground rhizome called a corm. There are hundreds of varieties of bananas in the world, but the one that makes the news a lot is the common supermarket cultivar Cavendish, which is at greatest risk of infection because of its lack of genetic biodiversity. A hanging cluster of hands on a banana plant is called a bunch, with each bunch holding 7 to 14 hands of bananas. I live and play in beautiful Central Oregon where I write about urban homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. A banana is both an herb and a fruit. The stem of the banana plant does not contain woody tissue, which classifies it as a herbaceous plant, or herb. A banana is undoubtedly a fruit (containing the seeds of the plant), though since commercially grown banana plants are sterile, the seeds are reduced to little specks. “True berries are simple fruits stemming from one flower with one ovary and typically have several seeds.” A banana fits this definition from a botanical standpoint. Linda, that was a great explanation of bananas. ’ m also learning how attractive flowering plants are sterile, the secret to a good life...! ( USDA zones 10 and higher ), banana plants do not have a productive lifespan of decades a... A banana is both an herb and a tarp for the next time I comment the ground after fruiting the! 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