Seasonal Almanac

Start of winter: Pheasants enter water and turn into monster clams (4 of 5)

May 19th, 2009

Start of winter 14 of 15A colleague brought in two bags full of bananas to work today. They were excess from the organic crop his neighbour grows. ‘They taste like real bananas,’ he said. I grabbed one bunch of these big man’s fingers.

The first time I saw a banana plant, I couldn’t work out where the fruit grows. The anatomy of the banana plant is confusing to those expecting a basic angiosperm structure. The plant has two sets of flowers: one single large male flower at the end of the stem, and bunches of little banana-shaped female flowers further down. As the bananas widely eaten in the world today are domesticated varieties that don’t have seeds, the male flower in commerical culitvars is sterile and the female flowers develop into fruit without the need of fertilisation. I do find the fruiting banana plant with alternating stacks of embryo fruits most compelling to look at.

With high potassium, high dietary fibre content, a low glycemic index, high vitamin B6, vitamin C, protein, folate, and antioxidants, bananas are packed with goodness. We patiently wait for this nutritious feast to ripen.

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