A Banana, A Fig & A Plaintain Tree, Barbados Pocket Guide

Banana/Fig/Plaintain Tree

We've started out by calling these 'trees' as they are commonly referred to as such across Barbados. However, the aforementioned are actually huge herbaceous plants and not 'trees'. The 'trunk' is as a result of a pseudostem (a false stem made of the rolled bases of leaves). There are all crops in the genus Musa.


Barbados currently grows all three of these hugh herbaceous plants and are virtually self-sufficient with the parish of St. John being ahead of the other parishes when it comes to the production of these crops.


These plants grow in a wide variety of soils as long as the soil is deep and has adequate drainage. Raised beds can eradicate the possibility or occurrence of poorly drained soils.


Banana Plant

The banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant. These tall and study plants produce a single bunch of bananas and after that fruiting process, the pseudostem dies. However, new banana offshoots develop from the base of the plant and start a new growth process all over again.


In Barbados, the leaves of the banana tree are mildly heated in boiling water and used to wrap the dough of Barbados' traditional conkie delicacy in preparation for the steaming until cooked process. Bananas are also used ripe for the purposes of smoothies, fruit salads or for baking banana bread. The green ones are used for cooking purposes.


Fig Plant

Figs grow in bunches and are easily recognized on sight as they are fatter and shorter than the banana. They are best eaten when fully ripe as anything outside of that gives a most unpleasant feeling of tightness in the mouth.


Plaintain Plant

The fruit of the plaintain plant are larger than those of the banana plant and are best when fried or cooked once partially ripe.


In the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, plantain shoots are chopped into fine pieces and served as salad or dry curry often seasoned with coconut and green chillies. As a wet curry, they are seasoned with yogurt, red chillies and coconut. Plantain shoots are considered rich in fibres and are considered to be an excellent treatment for avoiding constipation.


DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this page should not be interpreted as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this site.


Readers should consult the appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well being.


The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best information available to the writers. However, readers who fail to consult the appropriate health authorities automatically assume risk of any injuries. Barbados Pocket Guide is not in any way responsible for errors or omissions.


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