Photo Challenge: Banana Flowers

Every banana palm puts out two types of flowers: the pendulous flower that slowly opens to reveal a row of small orchid-like flowers that eventually turn into bananas.

These small orchid-like flowers form at the tip of each new banana. (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)
Banana FlowerThe same banana palm as above, but from further away, showing both types of flowers. The larger plum-coloured flower is called an ‘inflorescence’.
Banana Flowers The pendulous plum-coloured flower with a fringe of smaller yellow pre-banana flowers and masses of bananas – I count 26 per row; approximately 50 rows; well over 1000 bananas! Which may account for one of its common names: One Thousand Fingers. Another is Pisang Seribu. (This plant was in the Singapore Botanical Garden)
Crazy Banana Plant in the Singapore Botanical GardenI discovered that the larger flower can also be yellow when a heat dome resulted in crop of bananas in the decidedly non-tropical Vancouver, Canada.Banana Palm with a large yellow flower and a bunch of baby bananasThe larger banana flower is often used in cooking where its acrid taste adds a distinctive flavour to some favourite Asian dishes. (Hoi An, Vietnam)
chopped banana flowerLarb‘, transliterated as ‘Laarb’ or ‘Larp’ contains ground meat, chopped banana flower, lime and lots of other flavourings and spices, and is usually served rolled up in a lettuce leaf; for more see my Cooking Class in Laos.

From Wikipedia:

Musa is one of two or three genera in the family Musaceae; it includes bananas and plantains. Around 70 species of Musa are known, with a broad variety of uses. Though they grow as high as trees, banana and plantain plants are not woody and their apparent “stem” is made up of the bases of the huge leaf stalks. Thus, they are technically gigantic herbs.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge see:

14 responses to “Photo Challenge: Banana Flowers

  1. This is the perfect photo and the reason I fallow this blog… who knew growing up in the us Rocky Mountains that I would some day want to see a banana flower in person! I love it

  2. Amazing! I have to go look closer at out banana trees, I have only seen the big purple flower! Thanks for these great photos, and greetings from egypt!

  3. Hi my friend! I want to sayy that this post is awesome,
    grsat written and include approximately all important infos.
    I’d like to see extra post like this .

  4. Pingback: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Banana Palm Leaves | Elizabatz Gallery·

  5. Pingback: Plants and their Paintings | Elizabatz Gallery·

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