Banana plants are normally found in tropical areas but have fared well in Rapid City in recent years. On Wednesday, the city planted four at Wilson Park.
“They are really resilient, in fact, last year when we dug them out of the ground, I chopped them off at the base and in a couple days they were already sprouting leaves,” city Greenhouse Specialist John Berglund said.
Berglund first planted them five years ago as an experiment. Since then, they’ve stood tall in several city parks, including Halley Park and the Noordermeer Flower Gardens at Sioux Park.
“They’re just something fun, something different, something challenging, you don’t think of that in western South Dakota,” he said.
While banana plants do produce bananas, they are inedible.
“I have yet to see any fruit on them, I think because of us transplanting them every couple of months, they just don’t have the time to grow fruit,” Berglund said.
When the summer is over, crews will remove the plants and they will be root pruned. All leaves will be trimmed and the plants will be placed in pots and transported to greenhouses for the winter.
“Somebody at home can have these if they have room. I mean they take up 5 feet across and 6-7 feet tall, but if you had room you could have them at your house, maybe on a pool deck they would look really nice,” Berglund said.
City crews are also planting more than 27,000 flowers this week in parks and green spaces.
— Contact Siandhara Bonnet at firstname.lastname@example.org —