So I posted back: No pines here, but we have lots of Banana trees if you need leaves.
Here, we use banana leaves as plates: on the table beneath the lechon, or on top of rattan plates for eating or serving. We also use the leaves to wrap suman and other items.
Banana leaves are the traditional method of serving food in Philippine cuisine, with rice and other dishes laid out on large banana leaves (asalo-salo, reminiscent of a buffet) and everyone partaking using their bare hands (kamayan). Another traditional method of serving food is by placing it on a banana-leaf liner placed over a woven bilao (awinnowing basket made of bamboo). The bilao is normally a farm implement used for removing chaff from grains, although there are now smaller woven trays or carved wooden plates of the same kind in Filipino restaurants used specifically for serving food. Banana leaves are also commonly used in wrapping food (binalot), and are valued for the aroma they impart to the food. Specific Philippine dishes that use banana leaves include suman and bibingka.
and our staff will grab a leaf to iron our "delicate" clothing, (in the US, you use a damp cheescloth or a steam iron on low)...
|Author: Marian Szengel wikipedia commons|
we have several, including some that are 20 feet high. The bananas grow quickly from the base, and no, you can't grow them from a seed. And each plant only has one bunch (they die after harvest but regrow new shoots from the base). More HERE.
we used to have two at the front door near the street, but the new sprouts kept getting eaten by the neighbor's goats. Chano replaced them with palm tree variants, but they all died, maybe because it is the start of the dry season here and they get direct sunlight and dry out.
I had to laugh at the illustration on Wikipedia that said "Making of Banana Leaf Plates which Replace Plastic as a Climate Solution"
Uh, no, not really: They need to be used fresh off the tree.
But Alibaba sells ceramic banana leaf plates if you are nostalgic.