The banaba tree

These photos were taken over a two-week period. The subject is the banaba tree in front of our house. When we bought the banaba plant years ago, it was no more than three feet high. We spent months scouring through plant shops in Northern and Southern Luzon until we finally found one in Los Baños, Laguna. The lilac flowers of the banaba tree are really beautiful and we always wanted one in our garden. Our tree has yet to show us some flowers and my husband and I have been painstakingly monitoring its growth. dry leaf

More than a month ago, the banaba tree’s leaves went dry and started falling off. If we had autumn in the Philippines, I’d say it had something to do with the season. But this is a tropical country and we only have two seasons—wet and dry. And I can’t recall if the banaba tree went through the leaf-shedding stage last year. dead leaves on the grass

For days, the leaves fell off. The brown dry leaves looked kinda ironic on the thick green grass. new leaves sprouting on a branch of the banaba tree

A few days later, just when I thought the tree had died—yes, it looked very dead—young leaves started sprouting. new leaves on the banaba tree

A few days more and more leaves appeared. The banaba tree was coming back to life. new leaves growing on the banaba tree

As the new leaves multiplied, young branches started to grow. As with plants seeking sunlight, the young branches looked as though they were reaching for the sky. banaba tree

Today, the banaba tree is covered with leaves once more. We’re still waiting for the first flower to bloom.

[tags]tropical+tree, banaba+tree, photos, photo, photography, Philippines[/tags]


  1. Rose says

    Thanks for sharing the info about the banaba shedding its leaves. Early this year I noticed our talisay tree shed its leaves but quickly grew them back. I think mahogany trees shed their leaves, too. I just don’t know when. Maybe I’ll start a list of leaf-shedding trees. Wouldn’t it be great if all these trees shed their leaves at the same time? Then we would have our own “autumn.” :-)

  2. says

    Hi Rose, and I thought only our banaba tree sheds leaves… LOL I thought it was sick or something and that’s why it sheds it leaves. Thank you, too, for the info about your talisay tree. :)

  3. john clark says

    you know banaba was originaly discovered in mt banaha many mountains get snow in winter even in the phil it may be possable that the reason it shed its leaves is due to the tree coming from a cold winter climate and hot summer.

    the daylight hours becoming shorter in the cooler weather here or wet weather would triger the leaf falling out making the tree think winter is on its way.

    just a thought john

  4. Jimmy Stewart says

    I live in the Dominican Republic. Climate simular to yours. I have searched all the internet and plant suppliers with no luck in purchasing this plant [Tree]. Would you Please sell me some seeds or give me the direction of who can. Due to the high rate of diabetics here i would like to start a back yard project giving young plants to the poor farmers who suffer with no funds for medicine or treatment. I have read of the medical benifits and would like to help them with their home grown medication.
    Thank you so much for your time and effort.
    Santo Domingo Dominican Republic

  5. rayis says

    i want to buy banaba extract and leaves how can i get it where can i get it i want the full details of the benifit of banaba leaf and its medicinal values in diabetics and its usages in other dieseases by mail if any one knows about he benifits mail me

  6. miahelaine says

    im from pampanga, mangga, candaba, pampanga i want to know where i can buy a tree of banaba or it’s extrated leaves near here plzzzz help me reply to this email..

  7. Flora says


    Hi, I’m from San Simon Pampanga. You know this banaba tree line the NLEX in some portions, if you haven’t noticed it yet. I bought 2 seedlings from Manila Seedling Bank in Quezon Ave corner EDSA at Php 20.00 each w/c I just recently transplanted to the ground.

    But maybe you can try going to some schools or universities in Pampanga like in Angeles Univ., that have a a botanical or agricultural garden, they usually sell seedlings of fruit bearing trees, etc.

    Or if you know someone in your area or neighboring towns who owns an old banaba tree, try to ask for some seeds and plant them (seasonal though).

  8. Pilar says

    I share your sympathy but exporting seeds and or plants of any kind is illegal and punishable by law.

  9. Kent Durangparang says

    Hi christine to plant banaba is in two ways one is you can plant it by seeds or you can plant it by clowning meaning using the twigs.