Sarah Coles

Red leaved banana of my Dreams

It’s my plant of the summer, August 2013

It’s a red leaved banana, green leaves with red stems and herring bone veins, glossy, impossibly imposing, its central shoot scrolled into a beetroot spike before loosening into a funnel then relaxing into leaves beneath another shoot.  

Everyone says how splendid, and then, when’s it going to flower?  Which it won’t, it’ll be dead long before it has a chance to consider this.  It’s enough that now, every day, it is here, revealing a fresh leaf and spike every few days.  The sun shines through the leaves in late afternoon, making it psychedelic, a creature half plant half animal.  It guards me while I dream.   

Four of these red leaved bananas stand to attention in pots beside the patio steps.  They call to us, to pay attention and listen.  They grow taller and taller, grander by the day.  The name is Musa ensete maurellii.





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