In which countries, where and how does a banana grow? What does a banana tree look like?
For the people of Russia, bananas are an overseas delicacy that has been loved by many. But not everyone has a correct idea of how a banana grows, from where it appeared on our shelves. Although such things are very interesting to learn.
In which countries do bananas grow?
Southeast Asia is considered the birthplace of bananas. It was from there that they spread throughout the tropical belt of the Earth. Scientists believe that culture came to the territory of America even before Columbus, but the method of its penetration to the mainland remains a mystery.
As a banana grows, people living in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil could see thousands of years ago. The plant is considered one of the first species on earth, which began to be cultivated in culture. At first, the person ate rhizomes. After crossing wild varieties of bananas, edible fruits turned out.After a certain time, people appreciated their taste, and they began to grow bananas on plantations.
What does a plant look like?
It turns out that a banana is not a palm tree and not a tree, as it is sometimes believed, but a giant perennial herb with a powerful rhizome. The height of the grass can reach 15 meters. The size of the leaves is also very impressive - 6 meters long and 1 meter wide. Such species grow on the islands of New Guinea. To better imagine how a banana grows, you need to know that the plant reaches such enormous sizes already ten months after planting.
To prevent excessive evaporation of moisture through the huge leaf plates, their surface has a wax coating. The aboveground part of the plant is represented by a short stem, which is almost invisible. The leaves, tightly girding each other, form a false stem, and it rises high above the ground.
How do bananas grow? Photos presented in the article give an additional idea about it.
Plant Growing Conditions
Banana is a thermophilic culture. Air temperature below 16 degrees is unfavorable for its growth.At 10 degrees of heat, plant development in general can stop. In such weather conditions, banana plantations have to be heated. The optimum temperature for good growth and fruiting is from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius.
The plant is very demanding on the composition of the soil, so the choice of a place for planting bananas are responsible. Good fit floodplains, plains. Known varieties of bananas that grow at an altitude of 2000 m above sea level. During the growth period, the plants are fed with fertilizers. Bananas are planted before the rainy season, as the plant does not tolerate a prolonged drought. A prerequisite for growing is weeding. Weeds can significantly reduce the yield of fruits.
It is very important to take into account the number of plants planted on the site. Their more dense arrangement helps bananas to withstand during strong winds, in extreme conditions, the roots do not hold the plant.
In the wild, bananas can multiply by seeds that are inside the fruit. Animals living in places where bananas grow, actively contribute to this process. The fruits of plants are the favorite food of many of them.
Cultivars of bananas do not have seeds; at the fruit cut, you can only see the remains of them in the form of black dots. Therefore, on plantations where bananas of cultivated varieties grow, the reproduction of plants occurs in a vegetative way.
After the fruit ripens, the entire above-ground part is removed or it dies off itself. Then, the plant begins to actively develop underground shoots. After a certain time, they come to the surface of the soil and give life to a new plant.
Banana plantations are renewed in 6–7 years. It is through this period that a decrease in yield is observed.
The first fruits appear on the plant ten months after its planting. For many, the question of what grows bananas is interesting. They are located on the shoots, which can bear fruit only once. After the crop ripens, the shoots die off, and new ones appear in their place, which also begin to bear fruit.
One of the important conditions of fruiting is flowering plants and pollination. When the banana leaves stop growing, a huge pink or purple bud is formed on the top of the false stem.It gradually begins to open and expose the inflorescences arranged in rows.
Female flowers, giving fruit, are located only in the bottom row, the rest are male. If bananas bloom at night, they are pollinated by bats. In the afternoon this work is carried out by insects and birds. Banana nectar is very sweet and attracts a large number of pollinators.
The fruit of a banana is a berry covered with a leathery shell. Inside the fruit of wild varieties of bananas contains a large number of seeds, the fruits of cultivated varieties are devoid of seeds. In one compound, up to 300 fruits can be formed, the total weight of which reaches 600 kg. The plant is sometimes unable to hold such a weight, therefore wooden or bamboo supports are installed.
By the amount of harvest in the world, bananas are in second place after oranges.
Varieties of banana varieties
Today there are about 300 cultivated varieties of plants. In addition, there are a large number of wild forms.
Fruits can have a different color, size, shape and taste. It depends on which variety the banana tree belongs to. In addition to the fruits of yellow, there are still green and red.Red bananas are unfamiliar to the residents of Russia and many other countries, since the pulp of their fruit is very tender, and this variety does not tolerate transportation. To taste different varieties of bananas are also not the same.
Nutritious properties of fruits
For the poor in tropical countries, where bananas grow in abundance, the fruits of plants are cheap and nourishing food, sometimes replacing bread.
Banana fruit pulp contains 1.2% of nitrogenous substances, 1.6% of starch, 22% of sugar. Fruits contain a large amount of vitamins belonging to different groups, a complex of mineral substances. The calories of bananas are superior to potatoes, second only to dates and figs.
Are bananas good for you?
It is believed that during transportation bananas lose all useful properties and fall on the shelves as an unnecessary product. Experts proved the failure of such a statement. Bananas retain all the valuable substances in the fruit, even after “visiting” a special chamber, where they ripen.
The fruits are very useful for people who are experiencing great physical exertion. Many athletes include bananas in their diet.The flesh of the fruit is very easily absorbed by the body, so it is recommended to use bananas for people experiencing a serious illness after surgery, if there are problems associated with the work of the heart.
Due to the high content of sucrose and carbohydrates, bananas are contraindicated for people suffering from diabetes and obesity.
What threatens banana plantations
Banana, like many other cultivated plants, is subject to various diseases. Today, scientists are particularly concerned about one of them - a fungal disease called “Panamanian disease”. Very often, the plant is exposed and attacked by parasites.
The forecasts of specialists are disappointing. They warn that in the near future there will be a reduction of banana plantations in all areas of their growth. Some scientists are inclined to believe that the plant may disappear altogether from the face of the earth.
Knowing how a banana grows, what dangers it threatens, breeders around the world are working on the cultivation of new plant varieties. Those who will be able to resist diseases and pests.
For residents of northern latitudes, cognitive is not only what a “banana palm” looks like, but in what areas of its life a person can use this unique plant, how it is eaten, many other facts are interesting.
- In India, a banana was found a very unusual use. When launching a ship into water, the descent surface must be lubricated. For this purpose, fat, paraffin, grease or other substance is used. Residents of India are sometimes slipped with bananas. To ship the average displacement came on the water, you need to take about 20 thousand fruits.
- Eating one banana is enough to provide a person with a daily intake of potassium and magnesium.
- Black dots on banana peel are completely harmless. They say that the berry is ready for use and its further storage is undesirable.
- During strong winds, not only the roots but also the leaves of the plant help them to stand. Under extreme conditions, leaf plates tear along the lines of the vein, thereby reducing the wind pressure on them.
The fruits of bananas, which hit the shelves of Russian stores, have made a long voyage.And it began in one of the 100 countries in the world where culture is cultivated today.