For this week’s Sunday Trees, I have something that is not technically a tree. But that does not detract from its greatness or usefulness 😉 Presenting to you all – the largest herbaceous flowering plant, that is the banana plant.
The banana plant has uses other than that of dishing out a complete packaged clean food in bunches. The green leaves were traditionally used as plates and in fact still are in some parts of the country, particularly during festivals and special occasions. The leaves are also used to package and steam food tied up with strings made from the stem, which gives the dish a unique flavor.
Contained within in indistinguishable untidy jungle of leaves is the stem which is also edible. But that is not on my list of foods to eat again before I die – more like to avoid 😉 Further, all parts of the plant are believed to have medicinal properties and have been used in Ayurveda for the treatment of various ailments. For example, cooked flowers are used for bronchitis, dysentery and ulcers. Plant sap is used for stings and bites. The young leaves can be used as a poultice for skin irritations.
A closer shot of the young bananas hanging and the flower. In my part of the country, West Bengal, the dishes cooked with the flower is a delicacy and a personal favorite, unlike the stem. Although I have to confess I haven’t tried my hand at cooking it – preparation and extraction of edible bits is tedious and taxing 😉
That’s all I know about this fascinating tree oops plant.
Anyone like to add their bit?
By the way did you hear about little Tommy who declared, “Of course I know how to spell banana, I just don’t know when to stop” 😉 😀
I hope it’s okay Becca, that this week I shared a plant masquerading as a tree rather than a real tree 🙂
Thanks for visiting – have a great week!