After growing up in Malaysia with so many varieties of bananas, the Ice Cream banana pales in comparison. I find that its flavor depends on when the comb of banana develops. If it has a long hot stretch to develop it can be nice. I suspect that it would taste much better grown in a more tropical climate like Florida versus San Diego. Yet, I keep hoping one day, I will get the perfect bunch from my grove. That one plant I bought is a grove of ever regenerating banana plants. I try to keep it to 6 or so plants at any one time. I keep it also for the beautiful banana leaves. It serves as my natural window dressing. I love looking out my tall windows and seeing the banana leaves swaying in the breeze. It reminds me of home. More importantly, I use the banana leaves for cooking- for making otak-otak, lining steamer basket for nasi kunyit, for kuihs and also table decorations at times.
|My natural window covering|
This current banana flower is huge and already well on its wall on becoming a stalk of banana. The banana flower has multi layers/ bracts. It opens upwards as a series over a number of weeks. As each bract opens and shed, it reveals a row of cup like flowers. Bees love the nectar and help to pollinate the flowers. I notice that the hummingbirds in my gardens also get in on the action. Soon the purple bracts will split and shed, revealing a hand of banana each day. The fingers gets longer and fatter, as the flowers keep opening. After awhile, it will continue to shed but no hands will form, leaving a bare stem between the comb and the flower. I will cut off the flower below the last hand of banana.
For now, the ground beneath the banana flower, is littered with purple bracts that were shed.
|10/13/11- 2 hands and a row of flowers|
|10/13/11morning - purple bracts still covering fruit|
|10/15/11 evening- 4 hands of banana. Top bracts have shred off|
|10/16/11 Look how fat the first hand of bananas have become !|
|10/16/11 6 hands of bananas already|
|10/16/11 Banana grove|