A couple proved Britain’s autumn weather truly has gone bananas – after growing the tropical fruit in their BACK GARDEN.
Experts say bananas rarely grow in the wild in the UK and would ordinarily freeze and die at this time of year.
But shocked Chris Coleman, 66, and wife Libby, 53, have just spotted their first bunch growing at their home in Plymouth, Devon.
Chris and Libby planted the exotic tree 11 years ago and kept their eyes peeled for signs of fruit.
It remained dormant until last week when the continuous warm and wet weather finally caused it to explode into life.
The retired couple were inspecting their garden on Saturday morning when they noticed the small cluster of bright yellow bananas.
The fruit appeared at the end of an unseasonably warm patch which climaxed with the hottest Halloween on record.
Temperatures in the UK reached 23.6C over the weekend – warmer than Rome (20C), Barcelona (22C) and San Francisco (19C).
Chris, a former biology teacher, said: “We were really surprised – this is England and they are just out in the garden.
“I think we have had a particularly warm year, we had a later summer which gave it a chance to enter into its flowering stage.
“It’s not unusual for the banana tree to flower but it is when it happens in Britain in November.”
Despite the temporarily favourable growing conditions, Chris does not expect the fruit to be edible.
He added: “We were ready to chop them back for the winter. I don’t think there’s too much more we can do, just leave it to see what happens.”
Bananas typically grow in Asia, Africa Central and South America, and flourish in areas with a mean temperature of around 26.67C.
They need a mean rainfall of 4in per month and no more than three months of continuous dry weather.
Although grown in greenhouses and moderated climates, they are still extremely rare in the UK.