Bornean Hairy Banana
A little-known banana only about 2.5 m (8 ft.) tall that forms attractive clumps. The upright, hairy-stalked inflorescence produces a pointed bud with glossy, purplish-pink bracts, followed by small, squat, densely golden-hairy fruits. The fruits, as in only very few other banana species, dehisce when they are fully mature, meaning that the peel splits by itself and reveals the fruit pulp inside. Unlike most bananas, it is less starchy and more juicy. The ripe fruit tastes like a mix between a kiwi and a banana and is readily consumed, seeds and all, by the Iban people. Unripe fruits are peeled and eaten with salt. The bud is relished as a vegetable, cooked and seasoned with salt and spices. This species has ornamental and fruit qualities that should seriously be considered for cultivation and perhaps improvement by selection or hybridizing.