While the answer may surprise you, there are a number of similarities between bird of paradise vs banana plant. However, there are a number of key differences between these plants as well. But what might those differences be, and how can you learn how to tell these unique plants apart?
In this article, we will compare and contrast the bird of paradise plant with the banana plant so that you can fully understand them both. We will address their physical descriptions as well as where they grow best, in case you are planning on planting one of your own. Finally, we will go over the special features of both of these plants so that you can learn which one appeals to you most. Let’s get started!
Comparing Bird Of Paradise vs Banana Plant
|Bird of Paradise||Banana Plant|
|Classification||Strelitzia nicolai||Musa acuminata|
|Description||Reaches up to 20 feet tall with large, paddle-like leaves and unique flowers. Flowers are white with purple undersides and fanned petals above. Leaves average anywhere from 1-6 feet long, depending on the plant’s age. Grows in clusters of stalks rather than forming one central trunk||Grows anywhere from 10-20 feet tall and has huge paddle-shaped leaves that reach 6-10 feet in size. Produces white or cream flowers that become bananas, branches falling off after fruit has been produced. Looks similar to a palm variety when fully grown, given the fact that it grows pseudostems that look like tree trunks|
|Hardiness Zones||9-12, or grown indoors. Prefers full sun to partial shade if the region is particularly warm, and likes a humid environment||10-11. Needs a tropical climate with full sunlight and moist but well-draining soil. The more humidity, the better for this plant|
|Special Features||Also known as wild banana, even though it doesn’t produce them!||Bananas are one of the most commonly consumed fruits in the entire world!|
Key Differences Between Bird Of Paradise vs Banana Plant
There are a number of key differences between a bird of paradise and a banana plant. For example, banana plants belong to the Musaceae family, while bird of paradise plants belong to the Strelitziaceae family- they are closely linked, but not related. In addition, banana plants produce edible fruit while bird of paradise plants do not. Finally, the bird of paradise can grow in a few more locations compared to the tropical banana plant.
Let’s take a look at all of these differences in more detail now.
Bird Of Paradise vs Banana Plant: Classification and Origin
While the bird of paradise plant and the banana plant seem similar, they are not related and they belong to different families. The bird of paradise plant is classified as Strelitzia nicolai, while the banana plant is classified as Musa acuminata. They also have different locations in which they originated. For example, the banana plant originated in Asia, while the bird of paradise plant is native to Africa.
Bird Of Paradise vs Banana Plant: Description
It can be very difficult to tell the difference between a bird of paradise and a banana plant. Both of these plants can reach 20 feet tall, and there are undeniable similarities in their appearances. However, one of the main differences in the physical description of these two plants is the fact that the bird of paradise plant has very specific and intricate flowers, while a banana plant grows a more simplistic flower that becomes the banana fruits that we know and love.
In addition to this fact, bird of paradise plants grow in clustered stocks, while banana plants grow pseudostems that appear as if they form a centralized trunk, much like a palm tree. The leaves on both of these plants are extremely similar, as they are large and paddle shaped, often deep green. However, the leaves of the banana plant range in length from 6 to 10 feet long, while the leaves on a bird of paradise plant only reach 6 feet at a maximum.
Bird Of Paradise vs Banana Plant: Presence of Fruit
As we’ve already discussed, one of the most obvious differences between a banana plant and a bird of paradise is the fact that banana plants produce edible fruits, while bird of paradise plants do not. Both of these plants have vivid and distinct flowers, but only the banana plant is capable of producing bananas, despite how similar it looks to a bird of paradise!
Bird Of Paradise vs Banana Plant: Hardiness Zones
Bird of paradise plants and banana plants require humid and hot environments, though there are some subtle differences in their level of care and where they thrive. For example, the banana plant only grows in hardiness zones 10 or 11, while bird of paradise plants live in hardiness zones 9 through 12 with proper cold weather protection, or you can grow this plant indoors with ease.
When it comes to their light preferences, banana plants require full sunlight, while some bird of paradise plants tolerate partial shade. Both of these plants require a humid and moist environment, though the banana plant will need more water compared to the bird of paradise plant if you want it to produce properly.
Bird Of Paradise vs Banana Plant: Special Features
While both of these plants are beloved for a number of reasons, the banana plant produces bananas, which is one of the most commonly eaten fruits around the entire world. Ironically, the bird of paradise plant is often referred to as a wild banana plant, despite it not producing any bananas!
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