Los Angeles Cloud Forest
In Costa Rica

The Visitor Center

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These plants live outside the Visitor Center. They may grow wild in other parts of Costa Rica, but we saw none like them in this area. Although the flowers of the fruiting varieties of banana are different, the red-flowering plant at the right above, sure looks like a banana. After a trip to Hawaii in October 2000, the discovery was made that it is a Musa or Okanaiwa Banana—a rare and extremely beautiful banana. It is one of the most sought after bananas!

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The reason they have so much banana fiber for the paper mill is that when the fruit is harvested, the whole tree is cut down. Bananas grow in clumps. When the fruit of one stalk matures, the stalk dies and then new ones begin to mature. They multiply so that soon a lot of stalks, maturing at different times, will grow from the clump. The plant in the photo at right with the red and yellow leaves is a Croton.

Do any of these plants look like something that lives in a pot at your house?

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This page was last updated on February 6, 2000.