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28 October 2014

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You are in: Devon > Planet Devon > Yes, we have bananas!

Bananas growing in a Plymouth garden

Bananas growing in a Plymouth garden

Yes, we have bananas!

A banana tree in Plymouth has started to bear fruit for the first time. Could this be another sign of climate change?

Banana trees in Plymouth? It might sound unlikely, but it seems the warmer weather is bringing the fruits of the tropics to Devon's shores.

David O'Connor was amazed to find the banana tree in his riverside garden in Stonehouse had started to produce fruit for the first time.

"It's been there for two years, and suddenly we've got bananas on it - obviously something is going on with the weather.

Banana tree in Plymouth

Not quite ripe to be picked!

"I've rented the property for a year - the owner put the tree there - and nothing has happened until now.

"The bananas are growing pretty fast, so I'll keep my eye on them to see when they're ripe to be picked."

David has worked in hot climates abroad while with the International Red Cross, and said: "People who live around here are all very surprised that the bananas have grown, but I'm not really, to be honest.

"Although having said that, we're right on the river here and the tree gets a battering from the wind."

Devon County Council's climate change officer, Ian Bateman, has already warned that we are in for higher temperatures in the years ahead.

"At the launch of BBC Devon's Planet Devon campaign earlier this year, he said: "If we do nothing, Devon will have a temperature rise of 4-5ºC. That would put us somewhere in the middle of Portugal by the end of this century."

last updated: 16/07/07

Have Your Say

Have you spotted signs of climate change in Devon? Do you have unusual things growing in your garden? Have your say here.

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

kris cuttler
ginger plants in Sidmouth gardens

I have musa basjoo fruiting at the moment, the plant is 10'4in.I planted it about 10 years ago.I have also planted avocado,lichi,coffee,jacaranda,dragon fruit,franjipani,passion fruit-had 6 fruits last year. I am opening my garden for MacMillan cancer support on 3rd August 2-5

Matt Smithers
John Richmond is quite correct - there is nothing unusual about banana plants either in Devon or elsewhere. The BBC ought to be better informed. The reason for the presence of more and more idiosyncratic plants is that a) the plants are more easily available b) gardeners are more willing to experiment c) gardeners are better informed than in past years. In addition, people are on the lookout for each and every scrap of evidence for climate change.

ray murrell
i live in ipswich suffolk and have just discovered a pod of bananas to my delight! is this unsual

wendy owen
had a pod of bananas last october i live at bittaford on the edge of the moor

John Walker
There was already a banana plant fruiting at Overbecks National Trust garden near Salcombe last year.

It's just bananas to think that this can happen here in Devon.

John Richmond
This banana - Musa basjoo - is root hardy in the UK. In warmer gardens - lots of those down in Devon - the tall stems survive the winter and will usually flower once the clump is about 5-6 years old. Down here in the South West it's been flowering and fruiting for decades in warm gardens. The fruit isn't edible - but neither is it rare.

douglas arnold
Interestingly, I tried a Lychee stone, which I planted indoors in a pot last summer and put out this spring. It has survived the cold snaps and I wait with interest to see if it makes it through the winter, facing west against the house wall.

sam shewry
the only thing i noticed and it scared me was a few months ago in one day it was beautiful sunshine, then rain, then snow, then hail, then thunder and lightning and then sunshine again all in one day! i though the world was going to end!!!!

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