Plate 12

Inflorescence of Banana, 1705

Not on Viewexpand_more

This bold and colorful banana plant is one of Merian's most famous illustrations. Bananas were introduced to the Caribbean in the early sixteenth century and from there spread to other parts of South America. As few Europeans would have tasted these seedless fruits, she described them in detail in Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium: "It is used like an apple, and has a pleasant flavor like apples…it is good cooked and raw. When unripe they are green, while the ripe fruit is lemon yellow inside and out; they have a thick skin like a lemon."

Inflorescence of Banana
Artist Life
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Nissen: 1342; Cat. Ger. Nat'l Museum, 1967
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

Plate 12