Structure of the Banana Plant

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Banana plants are herbs.
Banana plants are herbs. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Banana plants are perennials that thrive in tropical and subtropical climates. The plants resemble trees, but they are actually herbs. They originated in Southeast Asia and include two species of plants.

Pseudostems

Banana plants look like trees because of their trunk-like structures called pseudostems. The structures are tightly packed spiraled layers of leaves.

Leaves

The actual leaf is made up of sheaths, leaf blades and leaf stalks. The leaf blades are called lamina and the stalks are called stout petioles. Banana plant leaves are very strong. The sturdiness of the leaves allows the pseudostem to support the weight of the plant

Rhizome

A rhizome is an underground stem with parts that branch off above ground called meristems. The bottom of the pseudostem and stalks begin at the meristems. The plant’s roots also begin at the rhizome and extend down into the ground and horizontally.

Fruit and Flowers

Bananas, the edible fruit of the tree, start growing horizontally. As the fruit matures and gets heavier, it starts to hang vertically. Banana plant flowers form in clusters. They are actually green bananas that open up at the top into a flower with purple-red petals.

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