Bananas have their origin in tropical South-East Asia but are now found in almost all tropical regions of the world. Important banana producing countries include India, Philippines, China, Ecuador, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Columbia and Thailand.
The genus Musa includes several species and cultivars of bananas. Some are used as fruits, some as vegetables.
Bananas are the world’s best-selling fruits, followed by apples and oranges. In 2010 the estimated world production was 102,114,819 Metric Tons (source FAOSTAT), which corresponds to about 15 kg per person (in 2010 the world had about 6.9 billion persons).
Bananas don’t grow on trees. The “banana tree” is in fact a herbaceous plant which looks like a tree.
Basic information and facts
The genus Musa includes several species and cultivars of bananas. The most popular dessert banana is a cultivar called “Cavendish”. Fruits of most banana cultivars are yellow when ripe, but some
produce fruits with a red or purple color. There is a big variety n fruit texture and sweetness. Ripe fruits are eaten raw or cooked. Unripe bananas or plantains have a green color and are used in cooking.
Tropical South-East Asia
Grown in almost all tropical regions
Evergreen or deciduous:
Bananas have big, oblong or elliptic leaves with fleshy stalks. Most plants have between 5 and 15 leaves, which are arranged in a spiral. leaves can be up to 3 meter long and 60 cm wide. Older leaves often get damaged and have a ragged appearance. Usually leaves are entirely green, but sometimes green with maroon spots, and sometimes they underside of the leaf may be
red purple in color.
Bananas are herbaceous plants and have a pseudostem. Because of this pseudostem, which can reach 2-8 meter, they are sometimes mistaken for trees. The pseudostem is a cylinder of leaf-petiole
Climate and weather:
Tropical and near tropical regions.
Depending on the variety the plants can be up to 8 meter tall.
All year round
Type of soil:
Prefers deep, well-drained soil. Bananas can grow and produce fruits under very poor conditions.
Does not like water logging.
Spacing (close range)
Spacing (wide range)
Banana plants have suckers that spring up around the main plant forming a clump or “stool’. When the main plant fruits and dies, it will be replaced by the the eldest sucker. This process of succession can continue forever.
The suckers are used for propagation. Suckers are usually transplanted just before they produce wide leaves that resemble those of the mature plant but smaller.
Banana seeds are only used for propagation in breeding programs.
Black weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus (= banana stalk borer, banana weevil borer), Thrips, Spider mites
Panama disease (fusarium wilt) is a soil fungus.
Black Sigatoka (=Black Leaf Streek) is a fungal leaf spot disease.
Banana Bunchy Top Virus is an aphid borne virus disease.
Various types of nematodes
Banana bunches are harvested with a curved knife when the fruits are fully developed (75% mature). They then ripen naturally.
Bananas are usually grown for the fruits, sometimes for the production of fibers, and sometimes they are grown as ornamental plants. In some countries the flower of the banana plant (also known as banana blossom or banana heart) is used as food. It can be eaten raw or it is cooked as an ingredient in soups and
Did you know that?
- A “banana republic” is a small country that is politically unstable and whose economy is dominated by foreign companies and depends on one export product (such as bananas).
- Bananas are the world’s best-selling fruit (next are apples and oranges).
Fruit salad with banana
200 ml orange juice, 1 cup seedless grapes, 1 orange (peeled and cut in cubes), 1 banana (peeled and sliced), 1 peach or nectarine (pitted
and cut in cubes).
Mix the fruits. Pour the juice over the fruit. Serve cold (refrigerated).
Bananas (not too ripe), rice flower, salt, sugar, baking powder,dried coconut, white sesame, soda water, oil for frying
Mix well the rice flower, salt, sugar, baking powder and dried coconut together. Slowly add soda water and stir the mixture at the same time. Continue stirring and then add the white sesame. Slice the bananas. Heat the oil in the pan. Put banana in the mixture then use the spoon to take the banana covered with the mixture and fry it in the oil. Remove fried banana when it turns yellow. Keep it for a moment in a sieve. Expose the fried banana to air: it will turn to be crispy. Serve it while it is warm.
Remark: Do not cover the fried banana because then it becomes soft.
Bananas (1 cluster, about 17 fruits), 500 gram sugar, 1.5 liter water, 1 teaspoon salt, limewater, coconut milk head or put the can of coconut milk in fridge and scrape the thick part floating on top.
Peel the bananas. Divide each into 4 pieces then keep them in lime water for 15 minutes (or just in clean in water if you don’t have lime water). Boil 1.5 liters of water with sugar and salt then add the banana. Stir the mixture and close the lid. When it gets to boil, slow down the fire and half open the lid. Leave it to boil (simmer on a slow fire), never stir it nor add water, until it become a syrup; it takes about 3 hours. Prepare the topping by mixing the coconut milk head with a little bit of salt. Serve while it is warm, topping it with the coconut milk.
Remark: Some kind of bananas turn to be red color, others turn to be yellow color. Do not use the ripe banana, because after cooking it will turn to be sloppy.