One of the most fascinating aspects of the tropical rainforest is the immense diversity of plant life that lives in the area. New species of plants are still being discovered in rainforests around the world, and even the common species are completely foreign to those who live in other parts of the world. The specific variety of plants you find may vary, depending on whether you are in South America, Southeast Asia or some other tropical locale. Some plants, however, are commonly found in all of these habitats.
Banana trees are quite common in tropical rainforest locations around the world. Each tree grows a large stalk, which is covered in "bunches" of green bananas. When ready, the entire stalk is harvested as one piece and sent to the food distributor, who will ship it around the world.
Interestingly enough, many people in North America do not realize that there are multiple varieties of banana. The one most commonly recognized in the United States is called Lacatan, and is the premium variety of the species. Many other varieties also exist.
It's hard to imagine a tropical setting without an endless sea of coconut trees stretching into eternity. This is one cliché that is actually true. Coconut trees are found in abundance in rainforests and other tropical locales. The challenge is in being able to harvest coconuts from the tree, and once harvested, to gain access to the food and water inside. The "milk" inside coconuts is drinkable, however, it acts as a laxative if consumed in large amounts, so keep your drinking to a minimum.
Ube, also known as the purple yam, is a common root crop found in many rainforest locations. Mostly harvested and used in Asia, ube grows underground and must be dug up and cleaned. Once processed, it is used to make a variety of sweet treats, ranging from candy to ube ice cream. Because the plant itself contains natural sweeteners, not as much sugar is required in the processing, making these treats a slightly healthier alternative.
Mango is a fruit bearing tree that will produce several hundred mangos at any given time. Older, larger mango trees may even have thousands of these fleshy fruit pods hanging from it's branches. Mangos usually come in two primary varieties--a green mango, which is more sour, and a yellow mango, which is much sweeter.