Looks like I may get some Thai Black banana fruit this year:
The Thai Black banana is considered an ornamental variety of banana, so these may or may not be palatable fruit. Chances are they’ll be lousy. If anyone knows if the Thai Black banana is edible, let me know. Otherwise I hope to be tasting these fruit in the fall.
Here’s a close up of the Thai Black banana fruit developing as the bloom descends:
See the hands of bananas? The little yellow blooms inside the unfolding inflorescence to the left are male blooms. The little bananas to the right behind the red inflorescence are the female blooms. You can still see the wilted petals at their tips. Banana trees make a series of female blooms followed later by the male flowers. Each “petal” of the inflorescence unfolds and drops off revealing another row of blooms as it descends.
These Thai Black banana fruit are likely to be seedy since this is supposedly a wilder form of banana. Banana seeds are hard little things that have been bred out of the cultivated varieties. It’s not fun to break a tooth while eating a tasty banana.
The Thai Black trees have proven themselves remarkably cold hardy. I planted one little (maybe 14″) tree there last spring… and there’s now a 14′ clump of bananas towering over the food forest and above my driveway.
Come on, fruit! Fruit! And let us have a nice, warm fall so these babies develop!
At the very least, even if they’re not edible, I suppose I could plant the seeds (if they have any) from these fruit and grow some more banana trees that way. The Thai Black banana is very tropical and attractive and has done excellently in my North Florida yard. The black trunks look really cool.
If it’s edible, I’ll be really happy.
UPDATE: Curtiss shared a link in the comments to bananas.org and I was able to find a good thread on Thai Black banana trees. Tons of info.