How Do Bananas Grow?
Bananas grow on tall plants that are often called trees. But they are not real trees, because they don’t have a woody trunk. What looks like a trunk is really a stiff bundle of long leaf stalks. Yellow flowers blossom on the top stalk of the plant.
Some of these flowers turn into green bananas that hang in bunches from the stalk. The bananas are cut when they are still green, and ripen on the way to market. A banana plant dies after bearing one bunch of fruit. Commercial bananas do not grow from seeds. New banana plants grow from underground roots stocks.
Edible bananas evolved from a plant in the Indo-Malaysian region. They were mentioned in literature as far back as the 6th century BC. Today, most bananas are grown in tropical regions like South America, Central America and the Caribbean.
A banana is closely related to ginger and ornamental plants such as birds of paradise, amaranths and canna lilies. The banana plant is the world’s largest perennial herb and grows up to 25 feet, developing massive banana leaves that may extend 9 feet in the air.
Edible bananas are technically berries and do not produce mature seeds. Their rhizomes, or roots, can be hundreds of years old. Each row of a banana plant has 12 to 20 individual bananas, called fingers that make up a hand. Each stem develops 7 to 14 hands of bananas. The banana plant reaches its full height of 15 to 30 feet in about one year.