Banana leaves are large with spiked edges and a solid center. Ranging from lime to olive green to dark green, these inedible pliable leaves can measure up to ten feet long and two feet wide. The are often used for wrapping a variety of food mixtures.
Where It Grows
Banana leaves evolve from banana plants which are originated from primarily the Indo-Malaysian region. Today, most bananas are grown in tropical regions like South America, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as the United States.
How it Grows
Grown on a banana “tree,” which really is a plant and not an actual tree. Large banana leaves emerge as the banana plant grows. When weather conditions are suitable and are on the warm side, a new leaf can grow weekly.
Banana leaves contain about 85 % water and 10-17 % protein (DM basis). Pseudostems contain mostly water (92-95 %) and very little protein (3-4.5 % DM). Fibre content is high, in the 50-70 % DM range for NDF and about 30-40 % DM for ADF (Feedipedia, 2011).
Did You Know?
- In India, banana leaves are so large they are often used as umbrellas during monsoon season.
- The leaf also makes an attractive serving platter because of its size and sturdiness.
- Banana leaves are often used in cooking, for example, steaming rice, vegetables, fish or meat as the leaves can preserve the food’s flavor and moisture without adding fat or calories.
- Banana leaves can be used for medicinal purposes that can relieve poisonous insect bites, bee stings, spider bites, rashes or skin irritation.