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Meet the Golden Lotus Banana — In Protection of Crops

The plant itself is well-known and extensively cultivated all through its dwelling vary within the Yunnan province of China. Actually, the golden lotus banana is so extensively cultivated on this area as meals for each people and cattle alike, that specialists couldn’t fairly determine if there have been any wild populations left. It wasn’t till comparatively lately that some wild populations had been discovered. Sadly, these populations are below risk of being fully extirpated as a lot of the conifer-oak forests it calls dwelling have been extremely fragmented and degraded as a consequence of human actions. At the very least its recognition in cultivation means this species isn’t prone to go fully extinct any time quickly.

The golden lotus banana is reasonably attention-grabbing in kind. While you search for footage of this species across the internet, you’re prone to pull up photographs of a stubby, practically leafless stalk tipped with the intense yellow bracts that seem like the rays of a cartoonish solar. Apparently, crops can lose lots of their leaves in cultivation across the time the inflorescence matures, giving the impression that it by no means had any to start with. In fact, the plant does produce typical banana-like leaves for a lot of the yr. As talked about, the wonderful inflorescence is borne on the tip of what seems like a small, woody trunk, however in actuality is definitely the fused petioles of their leaves. All members of the banana household are, in spite of everything, overgrown herbs, not bushes.

As is typical with this household, the flowers don’t all ripen without delay. As an alternative, they start on the base and step by step ripen over time, revealing consecutive whirls of tubular flowers surrounded by shiny yellow bracts, although a variant inhabitants that produces purple bracts was lately described as properly. Apparently, the golden lotus banana differs from its banana cousins in that its flowers usually are not pollinated by bats or birds. As an alternative, bees and wasps comprise the majority of floral guests, no less than amongst cultivated populations. The primary flowers to mature are male flowers that produce a small quantity of nectar and copious quantities of pollen. Solely the flowers close to the bottom of the inflorescence are feminine they usually produce much more nectar than the male flowers.



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