10 Plants That Look Like Banana Trees

Leucanthemum X Superbum ‘Brightside’

These are various plants like the Bird of Paradise, Giant Bird of Paradise, Abyssinian Banana, False Bird of Paradise, Metallica Palm Tree, Sterling, and Banana Leaf Dieffenbachia, each unique in appearance and characteristics, offering diverse foliage, vibrant colors, and tropical aesthetics to horticulture enthusiasts and interior decor aficionados.

Bird of Paradise

This plant is named for closely resembling the tropical bird of the same name. It is easier to grow than many tropical plants and makes for a vigorous, rapidly growing indoor plant. It can be moved outside in the summer and thrives for half the year. The distinctive bird of paradise is one of the best-known tropical flowers and is closely related to the banana plant.

Also, read the article 10 Plants That Smell Like Licorice

The large leaves range from 12 to 18 inches long and can get split in the leaf when exposed to windy conditions or brushed against in a busy hallway. It typically flowers in the late winter or early spring, but it can flower at other times of the year when provided with optimal conditions.

Bird of Paradise

Giant Bird of Paradise

This plant is another beautiful indoor plant similar to the Bird of Paradise. Yet, the shrub distinguishes itself from the Strelitzia reginae as it has a white bloom. The paradise plant you find in its natural habitat grows in Southern Africa. The appearance is similar to its cousin, and the herbaceous perennial belongs to the banana plant species. Hence, the name Wild Banana Tree.

Even the Paradise plant leaves resemble the banana tree’s leaves. Another huge difference is that this paradise plant grows up to 30 feet tall. The elegant flowers grow from a dark green to grey/black spathe. The Bird of Paradise makes a bold statement when it does flower indoors. It is an easy-caring houseplant with lush leaves. But remember, these paradise plants need space around them to grow. The plant thrives outdoors and indoors well, given the proper tender loving care.

Giant Bird of Paradise

Abyssinian Banana

Also known as enset or ensete, Ethiopian banana, Abyssinian banana, pseudo-banana, false banana, and wild banana, this plant is an herbaceous species of flowering plant in the banana family Musaceae. The domesticated form of the plant is cultivated only in Ethiopia, where it provides the staple food for approximately 20 million people. It is a large non-woody plant—a gigantic monocarpic evergreen perennial herb (not a tree)—up to 6 m (20 ft) tall. The tallest to be reported was 42 feet (13 meters).

It has a stout pseudostem of tightly overlapping leaf bases, and large banana-like leaf blades of up to 5 m (16 ft) tall by 1 m (3 ft 3 in) wide, with a salmon-pink midrib. A mature plant weighs about 550 pounds (250 kilograms). The flowers, which only occur once from the center of the plant at the end of that plant’s life, are in massive pendant thyrses covered by large pink bracts. The roots are an important foodstuff, but the fruits are inedible (insipid, flavorless) and have hard, black, rounded seeds.

Abyssinian Banana 

False Bird of Paradise

This plant is a colorful, exotic plant with small flowers. Native to tropical Central and South America and the southwest Pacific, the false bird of Paradise is a species of perennial herb in the Heliconiaceae family. Due to its similarity to the bird of paradise flowers, the false bird of paradise is one of the most popular names for referring to this plant. It has other common names such as lobster claws, toucan beak, and wild plantains as well. The simple leaves of this plant can grow between 6 inches to 10 feet (15 to 300 cm). They are long, oblong, and grow alternate or opposite to one another.

If kept in a tropical location, the fronds will be evergreen. In cooler environments, they naturally die back in cold weather (50 °F or lower). Depending on the species, the false bird of paradise’s height can vary from 2 feet (60 cm) to 20 feet (6 m) tall. The beautiful color of this plant’s flowers ranges in hues of red, orange, yellow, and green. Interestingly, false birds of paradise’s flowers are in fact modified leaves called bracts. These bracts contain real, tiny flowers inside them.

False Bird of Paradise 

Metallica Palm Tree

The Metallica Palm Tree, scientifically known as Chamaedorea metallica, is native to Mexico. This palm has foliage with a dark metallic blue-green sheen, hence the common name Metallica Palm. It’s usually planted in a group of two or three. This is a slow-growing small palm that is perfect for small landscapes. It can also tolerate low lights making it perfect for indoors.

It has a single thin green trunk ringed by old leaf scars. Leaves are metallic blue-green, pinnately veined, and resemble a fishtail shape, hence the common name Dwarf Fishtail Palm. The stems are about 15 inches long and the leaves are about 30 in long and 15 in wide. It produces small red, purple, or orange flowers that grow in a branched inflorescence. Male and female flowers grow on different plants. Flowers are followed by green egg-shaped fruits that turn black when ripe.

Metallica Palm Tree 

Sterling

This plant is also known as the Sterling Silver Scindapsus (Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight). It has stunning foliage with a metallic silver sheen that makes it stand out from any other houseplant around. The botanical name for this plant is Scindapsus Treubii ‘Moonlight’. It prefers bright, indirect light with no direct sun and moderate temperatures between 65F and 75F.

It needs to be watered when the top 2 inches of soil have dried out, and it prefers rich soil amended with perlite for improved aeration and drainage. It is a slow grower, with vines reaching several feet long after a few years. This plant is toxic to humans and pets.

Sterling 

Banana Leaf Dieffenbachia

This plant is also known as Dieffenbachia Banana2 or Dumb Cane ‘Big Banana’. It is a rare dumb cane variety with beautiful leaves that look similar to those of a banana palm. This plant has ovate, very bright, almost iridescently green leaves with stunning, deep green speckles and leaf margins. It makes for an amazing houseplant due to its unique appearance and easygoing nature.

It is also known as Dieffenbachia ‘Big Banana’ and is a unique houseplant that has large leaves that are green and white speckled. This plant resembles a banana plant in size and shape but has all the style of a dumb cane.

Banana Leaf Dieffenbachia 

Auriculatum

There are several plants with the species name “auriculatum”. Here are a few examples:

Rhododendron auriculatum: This is a broadleaf evergreen shrub or tree, 6-30 ft (~2-10 m) tall. The leaves are oblong to oblong-lanceolate, up to 30 cm long and 3-12 cm wide, apex broadly obtuse or rounded, base rounded or auriculate (auricle – an ear-like appendage), upper surface dull dark green, vein deeply impressed, underside pale green, hairy and glandular with isolated, long, thread-like white or brownish hairs. The flowers are funnel-shaped to 10 cm long, white to occasionally rosy pink, greenish blotch at the base of the tube, fragrant, 14- or 16 unequal stamens, calyx 5-6 lobed; 7-15 flowers in loose clusters.


Philodendron auriculatum: Also called Earleaf Philodendron, this is a species of flowering plant in the Araceae family. It is a climbing plant, with leaves that are usually dark green, glossy, and oval in shape. It is native to the Caribbean, South America, and Central America, and is found in tropical rainforests and other moist habitats. The Philodendron auriculatum flower is a white spathe that is usually about 4 inches long.

Auriculatum

Ruffled Fan Palm

This is an exotic fan palm that is well-known for its stunning dark-green ruffled leaves. This elegant palm tree is great for small yards and can also grow indoors in a container. It is a single-trunked shorter species of palm. At maturity, Licuala usually only reaches 5 to 7 feet in overall height. Glossy green, undivided, pleated, round leaves give the impression of a large folded fan.

The growth rate of Ruffled Fan Palms will vary greatly depending on soil type, sunlight, temperature, and other factors. It prefers full sun or partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. Propagation is best done by stem cuttings, which should be taken in spring or summer.

Ruffled Fan Palm

Cigar Plant

The Cigar Plant, also known as Cuphea ignea, Mexican Cigar plant, Firecracker plant, or Cigar flower, is a dwarf species of flowering shrubs in the Lythraceae family1. It’s native to several regions of Mexico and the West Indies, and it grows mostly in terrestrial, moist habitats. This tropical evergreen shrub has a bright red flower with white and black tips that could bear some similarities to a lit cigar. The word ignea in the botanical name is the Latin word for fire.

This plant is a favorite of butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators2. A small subshrub rarely grows above 25 inches in height, so some people even choose to keep it as a permanent addition to their houseplant collection. The continual flowering will add interest to your home throughout the year. Although the Mexican cigar plant doesn’t grow tall, it can form in layers, creating a mounding habit. This can easily be kept under control with light winter pruning. The plant is useful as an attractive, ornamental, and bright front-positioned border shrub or bedding plant. Its neat and compact form also makes it an excellent choice for growing in containers that will add a splash of color on patios, balconies, or terraces.

Cigar Plant 

About Christopher Evans

Hello, I'm Chris, the green-thumbed Founder of PotGardener.com. I'm passionate about bringing the beauty of nature indoors through houseplants and indoor gardening. Let's create healthier and more beautiful living spaces, one plant at a time!

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