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An Amazon Adventure

Musa acuminata

Everyone eats bananas from the tropics though they originated in Asia. However, there are many differnet kinds and most are not exported to other parts of the world. They are also called plaintain but those are not the sugary kind found in the grocery stores in much of the world. Plainains are often sold as red bananas. The banana comes from a plant that grows to about 15 or 20 feet in height (3-4 meters). The leaves may be up to 6 feet (2 meters) long. They have a reddish to purple blossom. The fruit grow in clusters with the tips pointing upwards.

The fruit is collected while it is still unripe and shipped to the market. Bananas that become ripe while still on the plant become mushy and are generally not edible. The fruit is placed in piles and are sold at a cheap price. They are eaten raw or fried. Bananas are used to treat tuberculosis, bronchitis, cough, diarreah and fevers.

A full-size banana plant. The plant is the taller one with the large leaves. Considering that these things are all over the place, I can't believe this is the best picture I can find of one...