The Life Cycle of a Banana Tree

Written by kaye nemec
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  • Introduction

    The Life Cycle of a Banana Tree

    Bananas originated in the regions of Maylasia. It wasn't until the 1500s, however, that the banana was given its name. This fruit was first called "banan," after the Arabic word for "finger," which was the size of the fruit at that time.

    Bananas originated in the region of Malaysia. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

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    Banana plants grow from very large rootstocks. After about nine months, they reach their mature height of 15 to 30 feet. The stems, about 12 inches thick, grow flower shoots, which produce bananas.

    Rootstocks support banana trees and their heavy fruit. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

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    Growth of Fruit

    Bananas grow in bunches, with each bunch producing about 15 hands. Each hand has about 20 bananas. They take about three months to reach maturity, when they're ready for harvesting.

    The weight of the bananas sometimes causes the stems to break. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

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    Bananas must be harvested when green -- because if they're harvested too early, their consistency will be dry and stringy, and the flavour won't be as sweet.

    Bananas must be harvested when they are green for the fruit to be sweet. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

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    After each cycle of producing fruit, the banana tree dies and produces new rootstocks. The new rootstocks then grow a new banana plant. This process continues for several decades.

    Banana trees reproduce for several decades. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

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