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ITGN sep 2021 blooming banana JES 6480

It's Happening—Bananas in Bloom!

September 20, 2021

A month ago, the Garden Journal was at the Monocot Garden, a bed that curves around the western end of the Aquatic Garden. Then, our focus was on three banana plants, Musa basjoo (hardy banana), Musa ‘Siam’ and Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’ (red banana). It was an opportunity for Wave Hill Gardener Christopher Bivens to explain that in the Monocot Garden he "wanted to provide a contrast between that broad-leaf banana structure and play around with other leaves.” Banana plants bring huge leaves and a variety of warm colors to this garden space.

Now, a month later, we're back to bananas. But they have had a month to grow—and flower.

A flowering banana plant is simply an odd, yet wonderful, sight. With only a month of blooms left in the Monocot Garden, Musa velutina (pink banana or hairy banana) produced an inflorescence, a complex structure with many flowers that bloom in succession.

ITGN sep 2021 blooming banana plant JES 6495 1

Ants and other pollinators have been enjoying the continuous nectar supply and successfully pollinated the first set of flowers, which show the beginnings of banana fruit. You can admire them at the bottom of the next photo!

ITGN sep 2021 blooming banana fruit DSC 0075

If you enjoy Garden Journal entries, please join us for one of our weekly Sunday-afternoon Garden Highlights Walks, each led by an experienced Wave Hill Garden Guide. They are free; just remember to register at the Perkins Visitor Center before the walk begins at 2PM.

Jess Brey,
Ruth Rea Howell Senior Horticultural Interpreter