BANANA PLANTS MAKING SUMMER APPEARANCE
AT RAPID CITY’S WILSON PARK
Big Brutes Find Home
Each Summer in One of Rapid City’s Parks
RAPID CITY—Drivers and pedestrians may be doing double-takes while driving near Wilson Park as four gargantuan-sized banana plants make an encore appearance for a fifth summer in Rapid City. This year, the popular plants will be standing guard alongside the gazebos, rose bushes and other flowering plants at Wilson Park.
The tropical plants are more accustomed to conditions more commonly found in rainforests. But this quartet of banana plants have withstood Rapid City downpours, hail and windy conditions and have found residing in City parks in recent years much to their liking.
The plants were the brainchild of City Greenhouse Specialist John Berglund, who started the banana plants as an experiment five years ago. Berglund placed the banana plants in Wilson Park a few summers ago and have also spent summers basking in the sunlight at Halley Park. The brutes drew the most attention last summer at the Noordermeer Flower Gardens at Sioux Park.
“They get a lot of stares from pedestrians and drivers,” said Berglund. “Last summer, it was not uncommon to see groups of people taking pictures of the plants or people pulling alongside Canyon Lake Drive to get a look and take a photo or two.
“I’ve been amazed at their ability to flourish with our conditions. I planted them on a whim five years ago just to see what would happen, never thinking they’d still be with us five years later. They seem to like our parks and the attention.”
Berglund brings the banana plants in for the winter months and nurtures them within the warmth of the greenhouse then gives them a new park to reside in each summer, resulting in a growing legion of fans in the community.
“The annuals may provide the beauty and color but it’s the banana plants that bring the brawn and steal the show,” said Berglund.
City Parks crews are planting more than 27,000 flowers in numerous park areas in Rapid City, including Wilson Park, Halley Park, the Noordermeer Flower Gardens, the Sunken Gardens area and Otto’s Corner.