26.10.2020

Bananas are a Herb

Yes, you heard right. Banana Plants are not trees, technically they are, tree like herbs.

Who would have thought? Nature truly is an amazing thing.

This is because their stem does not contain woody tissue. Their trunk is made up of layers and layers of leaves furled around each other to form a stem. A very big stem, they can grow as wide as 300cm and as tall as 12 meters, making bananas the tallest herb.

After its fruit has been harvested the plant dies down and grows again from the same underground corm the following season. Some banana trees continue producing for up to one hundred years, although most banana plantations renew their stock every ten to twenty-five years.

I now understand why banana plants are the elephant’s favourite diet.
After all Elephants are herbivores. Sorry a bit of a dad joke. But after the year we have all had I thought a little humour might be appropriate.

So another bizarre fact!

Bananas are technically berries

What! And you thought they were herbs.

Well berries are fruits stemming from a single flower with only one ovary. A berry has three distinct fleshy layers: the exocarp (outer skin), mesocarp (fleshy middle) and endocarp (innermost part, which holds the seeds). A berry must also have more than one seed. Although commercial banana seeds have been reduced to little specks and the plants are now sterile they are still botanically considered a berry. As are tomatoes, pepper, cranberries, eggplants and blueberries.

Yep there all berries – because they all come from plants with single ovaries and have many seeds.

Now just to add some more confusion to this berry fruity discussion.

Strawberries, Blackberries and Raspberries are NOT berries.

They all come from flowers with more than one ovary, so are technically a fruit.

So now that we have that cleared up, I’m off to plant a banana herb in my backyard and then I might make myself a Raspfruit smoothie.

Keep smiling 2020’s almost over – Eco wishes Kim