Not only can you eat the fruit, but the leaves and flowers of bananas and plantains can be cooked with as well. Flowers are picked when tightly closed, outer leaves are removed and the tender inner leaves can be chopped finely and added like cabbage to stews or curries. There is a small amount of sweet, honey like nectar in the center, enough to be enjoyed by the chef! The leaves are often used to wrap meats, rice, or tamale like starchy fillings that can then be steamed, poached or grilled in the leaf wrapper.
Bananas appreciate consistent watering, and a moist, well drained soil. Though they can grow in standing water, they will eventually rot before bearing fruit. They appreciate full sun, and can come back from light freeze damage. Banana's will die after they fruit, but will send up pups out of the base of the tree to replace it, this process will repeat as long as you don't dig up the roots. The fruiting stock can be removed after harvesting to make room for the pups to grow.