The unique and exquisite red banana cultivar, also known as the Dacca red banana, is a distinctive variety found in Australia. It differs from the regular variety with its smaller size and thicker skin. However, the red banana’s flesh is exceptionally soft and sweet.
As the red banana matures on the tree, it undergoes a captivating transformation. Initially green when young, it gradually turns into a beautiful red color when reaching the size of a thumb. The market value of this unique red banana is relatively high, making it a lucrative specialty for local residents, often considered a “money-making” product.
In botanical terms, the red banana belongs to the species Musa velutina. This flowering plant, first described by Dr. H. Wendel in 1875, is known for its fast growth, frequent flowering, and fruit-bearing within the first year. The banana trees can reach heights of 3 to 6 meters, displaying vibrant pink flowers in summer, with the bananas themselves taking on a pink hue. However, when ripe, the bananas gradually turn reddish-brown.
Primarily cultivated for ornamental purposes, pink bananas are admired for their sweet and delicious fruit, despite the challenge of dealing with numerous seeds.
Another fascinating banana variety is the Blue Java, originating from Hawaii and some regions in Australia. Growing to an average height of 4.5 to 6 meters, Blue Java banana trees are resilient to cold and wind due to their deep-rooted system. The tree blooms 15-24 months after planting and can be harvested within 115 to 150 days. Locals describe the Blue Java banana as having a very sweet and rich taste, reminiscent of vanilla ice cream.
The Ae Ae banana variety, if not cultivated in specific settings, could be mistaken for a green-striped melon due to its identical appearance. Even the leaves of this banana tree have unique white streaks of green.
Rhino Horn, a hybrid of Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminata native to Africa, is characterized by its long, curved, edible green bananas, the longest among all banana varieties worldwide. Rhino Horn bananas can be consumed raw or cooked and are also grown for their exotic appearance, making them a popular choice for ornamental plants.
In summary, the world of bananas is a diverse and fascinating one, showcasing not only a range of flavors and textures but also unique visual characteristics that contribute to the appeal of these tropical fruits.