All About Banana Trees

Bananas are widely regarded as one of the most versitile plants in the world providing starch, nutrients, foliage, fauna and the ever popular tropical look. Bananas belong to a family of plants called Musaceae, this makes it a close relative of heliconias and travelers palm. Banana are ofter reffered as "trees" but in fact they are a herbaceous perennial. Most types require full sun for best fruit production but some prefer shade, especially for ornamental varieties (no fruit, but flowers) such as Musella lasiocarpa. There are many varieties of dwarf types and varieties that reach over 30 feet in height. Plantains look and grow just like bananas but are primarily used in cooked dishes. There are hybrid types that are crosses between banana and plantain. Some you cook, some you don't. There are also ornamental bananas. Some boast colorful leaves and some boast interesting shapes. You can not over feed nor can you over water banana plants although good drainage is required. Bananas require soil rich in organic matter. Ideally, your rich soil (non muck-like soils) would be over one foot deep with two feet being even better. Raised areas of soil will also help provide adequate drainage. After the bananas corm has matured the tree will start to grow fast. As the first stem starts to grow, another stem will appear close to the first stem finally creating the appearance of a trunk. However this is actually a pseudo trunk. Some banana cultivars have been around for centuries, propagating by human division.  Most species of bananas prefer tropical to subtropical growing zones although some Banana cultuvars such as musa Basjoo can be grown as far north as zone 6 giving virtually anyone the ability to grow and experience the wonderful versitile banana tree. The banana some 400 cultivars have earned this writers admiration the world over. 

Here is a brief snapshop of the different banana cultivars available. 

Ensete Gilletii 
Ensete Glaucum
Ensete Homblei
Ensete Perrieri
Ensete Superbum
Ensete Ventricosum
Ensete Ventricosum Maurelii 
Ensete Ventricosum Montbeliardii

Musella Lasiocarpa 
Musella Musaceae
Musella Splendida

Musa 1000 Fingers
Musa 1780
Musa Acuminata
Musa Acuminata '2390'
Musa Acuminata 'Johnson'
Musa Acuminata 'Kirkinan'
Musa Acuminata 'New Pavan'

Musa Ae Ae
Musa African Red
Musa African Rhino Horn 
Musa Amistad
Musa Antigua Finger Rose
Musa Aulena
Musa Aurantiaca

Musa Balbisiana
Musa Balbisiana 
Musa Banane Corne
Musa Basjoo
Musa Beccarii
Musa Belle
Musa Black French
Musa Blue Java 
Musa Boman
Musa Bordelon
Musa Brazilian 
Musa Brown's Red
Musa Burmese Blue

Musa California Gold
Musa California Cold hardy
Musa Cardaba
Musa Carolina King
Musa Cavendish
Musa Cheeka
Musa Cheesmani
Musa Chini Champa
Musa Coccinea

Musa Dhusray
Musa Double (Mahoi)
Musa Dwarf Brazilian
Musa Dwarf Cavendish
Musa Dwarf French (plantain)
Musa Dwarf Ladyfinger
Musa Dwarf Namwah
Musa Dwarf Nino
Musa Dwarf Orinoco
Musa Dwarf Puerto Rican
Musa Dwarf Red
Musa Dwarf Thai
Musa Dwarf Valery
Musa Dwarf White Iholena

Musa Ebun Musak
Musa Eka
Musa Eke-ula
Musa Ele Ele

Musa FHIA-1 Goldfinger 
Musa FHIA-2 Mona Lisa 
Musa FHIA-3 Sweetheart 
Musa FHIA-17
Musa FHIA-18
Musa FHIA-20
Musa FHIA-21 Plantain 
Musa FHIA-23
Musa FHIA SH3008
Musa Flaviflora
Musa Formosana
Musa French Horn
Musa French Plantain 

Musa Giant Cavendish
Musa Giant Governor
Musa Giant Plantain
Musa Giant Sweet Plantain
Musa Gigante Blanco
Musa Golden Rhinohorn
Musa Goldfinger
Musa Goldfinger FHIA-1
Musa Governor
Musa Gracillis
Musa Gran Nain (chiquita)
Musa Green French
Musa Green Red
Musa Griersonii
Musa Gros Michel 

Musa Hai
Musa Haikea
Musa Hapai
Musa Helen's Hybrid
Musa High Color Mini 
Musa Horse plantain
Musa Hua Moa
Musa Hy Brazilian

Musa Ice Cream/ Blue Java
Musa Igcpoca
Musa Iholena
Musa Iholena 'kapua'
Musa Iholena 'loha'
Musa Iholena 'maoli apex'
Musa Iholena 'ula ula'
Musa Ihu'u
Musa Ingens
Musa Itinerans
Musa Itinerans 'Gigantea'
Musa Itinerans 'Indian Form'

Musa Jamaican Red

Musa Kahiki
Musa Kalela
Musa Kandarian
Musa Ka-ua-lau
Musa Kentucky Wonder 
Musa Kofi
Musa Kru 
Musa Kummunaba

Musa Lacatan
Musa Lady Finger
Musa LahiLahi
Musa Lakatan
Musa Largo
Musa Laterita
Musa Little Prince

Musa Maclayi
Musa Mahoi 
Musa Mai'a Hapai
Musa Maia Maoli Eka
Musa Malbhog
Musa Malei
Musa Maleiula
Musa Mannii
Musa Manzano
Musa Maoli maoli
Musa Mauritius
Musa Misi Luki
Musa Mona Lisa
Musa Mona Lisa FHIA-2
Musa Monkey Fingers
Musa Montecristo
Musa Monthan
Musa Morado Enano
Musa Muluensis
Musa Mysore

Musa Nagensium
Musa Namwah 
Musa Nchumbahka
Musa Nino 
Musa No'u
Musa Nuholani

Musa Oa
Musa Orinoco 
Musa Ornata

Musa Pace
Musa Paggi
Musa Pahari Kela
Musa Peekelii
Musa Pelipita
Musa Pink French plantain
Musa Pirineo
Musa Pisang Abukeling
Musa Pisang Buai
Musa Pisang Ceylon
Musa Pisang Klotek
Musa Pisang Tandok 
Musa Pitogo
Musa Plantain 
Musa Plantain FHIA-21
Musa Polapola
Musa Popoulu
Musa Popoulu Kaia
Musa Popoulu Puapua'nui
Musa Praying Hands
Musa Puerto Rican
Musa Puhi

Musa Raja Puri
Musa Red 
Musa Red Iholene
Musa Red Jewel
Musa Red Kru 
Musa Rose
Musa Rowe Red
Musa Rubinea

Musa Saba
Musa San Jose
Musa Sc 2T
Musa Schizocarpa
Musa SH-3640
Musa Siamensis
Musa Siamensis 
Musa Siam Margarita
Musa Siam Ruby 
Musa Sikkimensis 
Musa Sikkimensis 'Manipur'
Musa Sikkimensis 'Red Tiger' 
Musa Silver bluggoe
Musa Sumatrana (Rojo)
Musa Sumatrana X Gran Nain 
Musa Sumatrana Zebrina
Musa Sumatrana Zebrina Rojo
Musa Super Dwarf Cavendish
Musa Super Plantain
Musa Sweetheart FHIA-3

Musa Taiwanese 
Musa Tall Red
Musa Tango
Musa Texas Star
Musa Textilis
Musa Thai 
Musa Thomsonii
Musa Thousand Fingers
Musa Thun Ghia
Musa Truly Tiny
Musa Tuu Ghia

Musa Valery 
Musa Velutina 
Musa Verdin
Musa Violacea
Musa Virapakshu 

Musa White Iholene 
Musa Williams Hybrid
Musa Wine

Musa Yangambi
Musa Yunnanensis

Musa Zan Moreno
Musa Zebrina 
Musa Zebrina X Grand Nain
Musa Ziv

Hope this list helps. Happy Gardening!!




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