Location in BHU campus :Planted in Botanical garden, residences and hostel premises.
Botanical name : Musa paradisiaca L Syn M.sapientum L.
Family : Musaceae
Vernacular / local Name : Hindi – Kela; Kannada – Bale; Malayalam – Vazha; Sanskrit – Kadali, rambha; Tamil – Vazhai; Telugu – Arati, anati, .
English names : Edible Banana, Plantain.
The plant is usually 2-5 m high. Leaves 1-1.8 m long, oblong or linear-oblong with prominent midrib. Flower-spike 90 cm or more long with large red or dull purplish bracts. Fruit oblong, very variable in size, usually yellowish when ripe, most of the varieties seedless.
Banana is regarded as an incarnation of the Goddess Parvati. In the Western Ghats, the ‘Banana tree’ is believed to be the Goddess Nanda devi. Her images are carved out of the stalk and floated down the river in the month of Kartika. In the Mahabharata, Kadalivana or the Banana garden on the banks of Kubera pushkarni was the home of Monkey God, Hanuman. The Banana plant is considered sacred to the nine form of Hindu Goddess ‘Kali’.
Every part of the plant is considered sacred in Hindu religion. Two plants on either side of the main entrance are used as decorations in social and religious ceremonies. During Durga Pooja a young plant is worshipped as a symbol of ‘Navapatrika’. The leaves are used in offering during religious and social ceremonies. On the occasion of Lakshmi Pooja a boat made of banana stem and decorated with a sheaf of paddy is used for worshipping the Goddess of wealth and happiness. A bunch of banana with a few betel leaves is a must in all religious functions. Women worship the plant at various occasions. It is the chief component of offerings during the Satyanarayana puja. The fruits are always offered to Gods. The plantain called 'Kathli' is considered sacred in Tamil Nadu, and offered to the Gods. A mixture of ripe plantain, unboiled rice and sesame seed (Til) is offered by Hindus of Bengal to propitiate the departed soul.
Ripe fruits are edible; green bananas are eaten as vegetable. Leaves are commonly used as plates. Flowers and fruits are of medicinal value. Fruit pulp is dried and made into flour. It is also used also for jams, jellies, chips, etc.