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Botanical Wednesday: Not sexy at all

Yeah, it’s true: the most phallic fruit of them all is pretty much sexless, and is an abomination produced by cruel human manipulation. Sorry, Ray.

Comments

  1. Gregory in Seattle says

    The fragility of the banana has been documented. For centuries, the primary cultivar was the Gros Michel (“Big Michael”, insert appropriate joke here.) An outbreak of Panama disease in the 1950s, a fungus to which the Gros Michel is particularly suceptible, almost wiped the cultivar out and prevents it from being grown in most of the banana producing regions of the world.

    The current cultivar, Cavendish, is relatively bland. It will soon be following the Gros Michel out of commercial production because of disease. Right now, there are no viable replacement cultivars.

  2. miraxpath says

    >>Right now, there are no viable replacement cultivars.>>

    What exactly does that mean? The linked article mentioned the goldfinger variety as a possible successor, the chief drawbacks being its taste (unfamiliar to western markets used to the blandness of the Cavendish) and longer maturation time.

    Here in SE asia, there are many varieties of the banana (all sadly prone to the same genetic risk as the main cultivar) and surely some of them will survive the impending bananacaust*?

    * Hoping for an Orac smackdown.

  3. says

    But if the inference to design in the banana and in human-made machines is correct, why not infer design where the same characteristics of design are in fact absent?

    So goes the creationist “logic”.

    Glen Davidson

  4. Brownian says

    the most phallic fruit of them all is pretty much sexless

    Due to the Plantainazi harassment policies at all the banana conferences?

  5. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Due to the Plantainazi harassment policies at all the banana conferences?

    Those conferences have lost their apeel.
    ___________________________________________________
    “Is that a Ray Comfort in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

  6. brucecoppola says

    The current cultivar, Cavendish, is relatively bland. It will soon be following the Gros Michel out of commercial production because of disease. Right now, there are no viable replacement cultivars.

    The next cultivar is already in the works. Code name: the John Holmes.

    (sorry)

  7. says

    Ah da banana.

    Growing up in Huntington, West Virginia, I had an uncle with a Pawpaw tree (Asimina trilobain) in his back yard. When ripe a delicious fruit. Supposedly the largest in North America. Tastes a lot like Plantain. Definitely tastier than a banana.

  8. peterwhite says

    I live in a place where bananas and their relatives grow everywhere. The local markets will typically have 5 or more varieties on sale. My favorite is the lakatan banana which is much tastier than the bland Cavendish is used to buy in grocery stores in Canada. We also buy sulay bagyo bananas which stay green even when ripe and gardava plantain which is fried and eaten for dessert. This is a banana lover’s heaven.

  9. miraxpath says

    I almost thought that you were referring to the papaya, grumpypathdoc. I would love to taste some ‘pawpaw’ one day.

    Singapore is an urban jungle but I lived in a teeny, teeny rural bit of the citystate as a child and we and our neighbours had papayas,jackfruit, bananas,jambu air, starfruit, guavas, mangoes, mangosteens,soursop, rambutans and even a lone durian tree in our gardens.Nothing beats the taste of homegrown fruit and a what variety we had.

  10. miraxpath says

    Peterwhite, my mum being south indian, has about a dozen recipes for cooking parts of the banana tree, including its shoot and flowers. People in South and South East asia have been cultivating and devouring the plant for millenia. We find the Cavendish in supermarkets but in the gardens and farmers markets, it is wonderful variety of the fruit. T have pink-skinned variety (suckers given to me by a farmer) growing in a large pot in my apartment balcony but it is unlikely to ever fruit.

  11. dannicoy says

    As a biological strategy being manipulated by the humans seems to be working out kind of well for the Bananas. They might be up a certain creek if the humans ever wipe themselves out. Perhaps knowing this the Bananas might come to our aid in our hour of need.
    No?

  12. john says

    “Perhaps knowing this the Bananas might come to our aid in our hour of need.”

    Actually their last message to us, though widely misinterpreted, had been, “So long, and thanks for all the nitrogen.”

    Truly, a banana is like a penis-shaped Ray of sunshine, which always gives me Comfort.

  13. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Don’t worry about the bananas. One round of chromosome doubling and it’s back in teh baby game.