This is the flower of the banana family, planted for aesthetic reason. The banana fruits are not edible as they are rather small. Notice that the flower grows, pointing upwards? Normal banana flowers dangle from the stem.
This is a close-up of another variety of banana flower. Notice that there are lots of honey bees swarming the flower? The banana flower has a lot of nectar to attract insects. When I was small, I would pick up these florets which had dropped to the ground and suck out the sweet, sticky nectar. Ewwwss… But I never had tummy aches. 🙂 The nectar looks like droplets of water and has a gel-like texture.
Usually, the bananas will form and leave these bud (or whatever you call these purplish thing) hanging from the stem. These buds can be cut off, steam or boil and can be eaten. I like it dipped in sambal belacan or as in the photo above, sambal tempoyak.
However, old folks have warned about not eating too much of the jantung pisang as they can be ‘windy’ or produce a lot of gas, causing a bloated tummy.
The banana tree and the coconut tree are two very versatile plants. All parts of the trees have their uses.