Tropical Rainforest Plants

Banana and PlantainBanana and Plantain
Musa x paradisiaca
Banana family
Bananas and plantains are very closely related. Plantains, however, are used more like a starch than a fruit. Both are native to East Asia and Australia but are now grown throughout the tropics. Though commonly called "trees", they are actually the world's largest herbaceous plants, as they do not develop woody stems like trees.

Sugar CaneSugar Cane
Saccharum officinarum
Grass family
The stems of this grass plant can reach 10 feet tall and are rich in sugar. The stems are crushed to extract the sweet juice, which is then processed to obtain sugar. Sugar cane is native to New Guinea. It was introduced into the New World by Columbus on his second voyage in 1493.

Nutmeg and MaceNutmeg and Mace
Myristica fragrans
Nutmeg family
Nutmeg and mace come from different parts of the same fruit. Nutmeg is the seed and mace is the red net-like fiber (aril) that surrounds the seed. Nutmeg is native to the Moluccas (Spice Islands). 


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