The Banana Plant, or Musa “Oriental Dwarf”, is a pet-friendly houseplant with typical paddle-shaped leaves and a fleshy stem. Cultivated bananas are hybrids of various wild species, and are grown variously for their edible fruit or ornamental foliage.
Banana plants are the largest herbaceous plants in the world, and some species can grow as high as a tree, but there is no woody tissue at all, and the strength of the “trunk” is due to the tightly wound whorl of leaf sheaths. They also have a large underground rhizome – a type of creeping underground stem – that seemingly allows bananas to move across a plantation. As each plant fruits and dies back, a new plant emerges a metre or more away, giving the impression of a procession of plants.
Dwarf ornamental bananas, such as “Tropicana” are bold houseplants with typical paddle-shaped leaves borne on a fleshy stem. Some leaves may have purple markings on them.