Going Bananas!

The summer heat and humidity of Orlando can drive you bananas! So why not see a bunch in their natural state?  One morning last week I strolled through beautiful Leu Gardens. This lush respite from city life made me feel like I was in a real rain forest!

IMG_6454

A variety of plants thrive in the tropical stream garden. The path is quiet and shady with benches to sit and breathe in the beauty of your surroundings.

IMG_6502

I’m not a botany expert, but I like plants, especially flowering plants. I was amazed at these colorful blooming bromeliads. Some bromeliads shoot out tall spikes to show off their flowers, but some have tiny flowers deep inside that you can only see if you look really close. In the photo below the blossoms are those minute lavender triangles inside the center cup that retains water!

IMG_6440

Many insects and other animals depend on the water that is stored in the cup like center of a bromeliad. (By the way, bring insect repellant!)

IMG_6476
These bromeliads are growing out of a “host” plant.

 

The most well known bromeliad is the pineapple. Did you know they were named by early European explorers who thought they looked like pine cones?

IMG_6501

While in the tropical stream garden, I learned that bananas don’t grow on trees! Instead they grow on stalks. Each flower spike develops a “banana heart”. After fruiting the spike dies, but new offshoots grow out of the base.

IMG_6497

Some banana stalks are only ornamental.  The ornamental bananas have colorful flowers but their fruit is inedible and full of small, hard seeds.

IMG_6478
Ornamental Banana
The Tropical Stream Garden is one of many places to visit within Leu Gardens. It is a lush oasis of rejuvenation and refreshment in the marathon of life!
Advertisements

Author: thepoetonblueberrystreet

Debra Burton is a poet and free lance writer. She is a member of Word Weavers International.

2 thoughts on “Going Bananas!”

  1. Your comments about the bromiliad’s flowers reminds me of people. Some people bloom outwardly for all to see, and some keep their blooms close to the heart. You have to really look to find their beauty. 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s