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Farmers Almanac
The 2016 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Banana Trivia

Banana Trivia

One of this week’s featured stories in on the health benefits of bananas. Here’s a little fun trivia about America’s favorite fruit!

– Three medium bananas weigh approximately one pound.

– Roughly 96% of American households purchase bananas at least once per month.

– A cluster of bananas, called a “hand,” consists of 10 to 20 individual bananas, also known as fingers. In fact, the word banana comes from the Arabic word for “finger.”

– There is no such thing as a banana “tree.” Bananas are actually massive herbs related to palms, lilies and orchids. Bananas are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. The “trunk” is comprised of sheaths of overlapping leaves, wrapped tightly around each other. They reach their full height of up to 30 feet during their first year of growth.

– A single banana leaf can grow up to 12 feet in length. In Southeast Asia, Central America and much of Africa, food is wrapped in banana leaves for storage and cooking, much like aluminum foil in the West. The leaves lend a subtle flavor to dishes cooked in them, and their hardiness allows them to be used time and again.

– Bananas are grown and harvested year-round. They grow from a bulb, not a seed. A perennial crop, each bulb sprouts new shoots every year.

– In India, flowers from the banana tree are considered sacred. During religious ceremonies, such as weddings, banana flowers are fastened to a headband for good luck. In Thailand, banana flowers are eaten as a delicacy.

– Bananas were first introduced to the Western world when Alexander the Great discovered them during his conquest of India in 327 B.C.

– Bananas were first brought to the United States in 1876, for the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. The exotic fruits were wrapped in foil and sold for 10¢ apiece (roughly $1.70 in today’s dollars).


1 Janet { 10.15.15 at 1:22 am }

The arabic word for fingers is actually: banan . You were close with banana.

2 laura { 10.14.14 at 11:07 pm }

Interesting facts about bananas…I have two varieties that I grow in pots…they’ve never produced flowers or fruit.but I suspect they probably would need more greenhouse like conditions to do so….however, if you have adequate light they make beautiful house plants.. I live in Michigan so they are indoors in the winter and I put them outside in the summer….

3 monica { 03.06.12 at 6:45 pm }

That is just awesome info. I didn’t know any of that. I would love to grow bananas but my HOA won’t allow it. 🙁

4 Bonnie { 03.06.12 at 3:10 pm }

WOW, I did not know that bananas come from a bulb and are perennials. Boy, you learn something new every day. Thanks

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