Over 500 Varieties
Banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. They are actually giant herbs of the same family as lilies, orchids and palms. Banana plants can grow to heights of up to nine metres and look very much like a tree.
There are more than 500 varieties of banana plants in the world. The most common kinds are Dwarf Cavendish, Valery, and Williams Hybrid bananas. Other types of bananas include Apple and a small red banana called the Red Jamaica. A large type of banana called the plantain is hard and starchy and is mostly used as a vegetable in cooking. In Australia, Cavendish and Lady Fingers are the two most popular varieties.
In Australia, Cavendish is the most common variety of banana. It grows on a more compact plant than earlier varieties and was developed to resist plant diseases, insects and wind storms. Cavendish is a medium-sized banana loved for its creamy, smooth texture and thin peel.
The popular Lady Finger banana is naturally sweeter and a little smaller than regular bananas. As well as being a good source of vitamin C, Lady Fingers are the perfect ingredient for all sorts of fresh dishes as they don't go brown when cut. Lady Fingers taste best when fully ripe, when their skin is completely yellow with flecks of black.