Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sudden Banana Death

While in Haiti recently I learned, much to my city-born-and-bred surprise, that a banana plant in Haiti takes only 9 months to reach maturity, at which time it bears armloads of fruit. Then it DIES back into the underground rootlike rhizome! Who knew it gave its very life for Chiquita?  
Ah, but here’s the Darwinian twist: before it reaches that fateful moment of sudden banana death, four or more banana sprouts have cleverly risen from the soil around the base of the dying plant to become thriving banana children themselves.  Nine months later, these offspring repeat the cycle. Amazing!  
And here are 2 more wondrous facts: botanically speaking, the banana plant is an herb, not a tree--and bananas themselves are actually berries! I’ll never look at a banana quite the same again.  

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