BANANA GLOSSARY

BANANA 'TREE' - A pseudostem; Actually a herbaceous monocot.

CORM - The pseudo bulb from which the leaves grow.

PUPS - Auxillary buds (clones) form on the underside of the corm and develop into plants. These are best removed from the mother plant (with a flat spade) at the 'sword leaf' stage.
But, if you wish to have consecutive fruitings, let 2 or 3 'pups' reach various stages of growth.
Don't worry if the leaves become torn, they will still do their job.

INFLORESCENCE - Consists of female flowers which develop into fruit;
Bisexual flowers which usually abort from the stem;
Male flowers which may or may not have pollen and are of no use except in seeded varieties.
Bananas develop regardless by means of parthenocarpy.
The large end flower may be broken off after the three kinds of flowers have consecutively formed.
Commercial growers cover the developed head with blue plastic bags for protection.

LIFE SPAN - After fruiting the stem slowly begins to die. Use a serrated knife, coarse saw, or machete (carefully!) and cut off the top 2/3's into 3 to 4" pieces and let this debris remain around the stump.

HEAD - Entire fruiting bunch.

HAND - Group of bananas attached to stem.

FINGER - Individual banana.

Recommended nutrients: Sul-Po-Mag at planting time; organic fertilizers; mulch or compost.