Sunday, 13 November 2011

Wild banana trees

Cape Town,

Wild banana trees are not bananas, at all. They belong to different families and are only called like that because their leaves are fairly similar.

These trees caught my eye because a) they looked like a very inferior kind of the traveller’s tree Ravelana madagascariensis, a very handsome native of Madagascar which is planted as an ornamental in the tropics, b) they were in bloom. As you can see in the above photo the flowers are huge and similar to the bird of paradise Sterlitzia; but not so elegant. They belong to that same family, Strelitziaceae.

Bird-of-paradise flower
Banana flowers aren’t in the least like that. Also when after they fruit they soon die, which is not the case with the so called wild banana. They belong to the Musaceae family.

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