Palms Revisited

 

Last year on Palm Sunday weekend, I wrote a post about a variety of palms in honor of Palm Sunday.

One of those palms was the triangle palm (Neodypsis decaryi) that I’ve been planting on either side of my driveway. A friend on Maui has several triangles that have grown to be a decent size.

The triangle above recently started sending out some sort of growth. Would you call it a flower?

 

Here is another view. What would you call this?

 

Probably of more interest to people who do not live in Hawai`i is the banana palm (Musa SPP) and the process of growing bananas. Those delicious potassium-filled fruits you buy in the grocery store aren’t nearly as tasty as the ones right off the tree.

Like most fruits, it starts with the flower. As the flower unfolds, tiny little green bananas begin to form.

 

Gradually, fingerling bananas begin to grow and peep out from between the petals of the flower.

 

In late spring, they are beginning to look like real bananas, but still very green.

 

By November, this beautiful bunch is ready to be cut down. Need I tell you they can get incredibly heavy? Sometimes it takes several people to carry the bunch to a shed where they will slowly ripen. If left on the tree to ripen, the bugs get them before we do.

 

Yes, it looks like they are growing “upside down,” but that’s the way they grow on the tree. Think about this the next time you buy a nice “hand” of bananas.

After the bananas are harvested, the old tree is cut down, but several new ones have already started to grow. More bananas will be on the way shortly.

A hui hou!

6 thoughts on “Palms Revisited”

  1. I think the inflorescense will give you berries, not flowers…at least that is what I’ve noticed in ours…

    BTW. banana plants are neither trees nor palms, they are a herbaceous plant 😉 Another little nugget I picked up when I was writing about nanners for my first newspaper columns on bananas and plantains in 2001

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    1. Yeah, I knew that bananas were basically a “grass”, after my courses in horticulture in CA, but in the interest of Palm Sunday, I wanted to include them as a “banana palm.” 🙂 I’m not sure what my friend’s inflorescense wil produce. I’m going by what I found on the web, which said that’s where flowers bloom. I haven’t checked to see if there are male and female plants, and if so, what they each produce. We’ll see what his plants come up with! My triangles aren’t old enough to do much yet.

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  2. Well, they do fit the ‘palm’ description…..after all, they have long frond-like leaves… 😉

    My cookbook is at Basically Books, The Book Gallery and Irresistibles in Hilo….you can also order it through Amazon. They don’t have any on hand at the moment, but have been ordering from me when people order them – you can also order from me for a couple of dollars less 🙂 both at Amazon (new and used) and these are new books or just e-mail me your address and I can send to you direct

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