(mew' sah)

Common name: Banana

Family: Musaceae (Banana)

Height x width: 6-20' x 6-10ft

Growth habit: upright false stems (pseudostems) of leaf blade sheaths tightly clasped together, arching to fan shaped, suckering rhizomes forming large clumps

Growth rate: rapid in warm climates, slow in cool

Foliage: large, oblong to paddle-shaped, 3 to 10 feet long, variously green depending on species, entire, occasionally split to midrib

Flowers: hanging clusters of tubular flowers on a terminal spike, usually pendulous, variously colored, one inch or more long; forming the well-known edible fruit

Hardiness: USDA zone 10

Soil: loamy

Light: sun

Pests and Problems: red spider mites, aphids and mealybugs indoors; wind causes leaf tatter

Landscape habit, uses: specimen, containers

Other interest: native to Southeast Asia, No. Queensland, India and Tropical Africa; the more ornamental species listed here, with main edible species being x paradisiaca and its cultivars; similar design effect but smaller plants from Canna; named for Antonius Musa, physician to Augustus--the first Roman emperor

Other culture: overwinter indoors before frost as very frost sensitive; protect from wind or place in sheltered site to avoid leaf tearing

Propagation: ripe seed, stored seed after water soaking 24 hours, division of suckers from clumps


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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