This valuable fruit of tropical climates is grown in considerable quantity in southern Florida, as it will grow nearer the sea and on lower land than the citrus fruits. It is also grown for ornament and a home fruit in extreme southern Louisiana and in extreme south California. But the main supply of the United States comes from Central America, the West Indies, and Mexico. It is also grown in greenhouses quite commonly in all the States as an ornamental plant, from which well-developed bunches of fruit are often secured. It is a far more interesting plant under glass than when growing almost spontaneously around the settlers' cabins in Cuba.
Its immense undivided dark-green leaves are attractive, and it is very interesting to watch from day to day the giant flower-bud unfold as it elongates by the expansion of the covering bracts under which the flowers appear. As the separate tiers of bracts drop, the circle of ovaries develop into young bananas. All this goes on as naturally under glass as in its natal clime. If the large bunch of fruit ripens or aborts, the great stalk with its leaf-appendages dies like our raspberries after fruiting, while new shoots are coming forward from the base to bear the next year's crop.
The fruit has no perfect seeds and the varieties are propagated from the suckers that spring up from the base of the stools.